Burns votes for National Guard vaccine assistance

Bill would leverage Guard expertise in logistics, communications

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – Recognizing that the No. 1 issue affecting Pennsylvania today is the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, today voted on a bill that would allow the Pennsylvania National Guard to assist with vaccine distribution in Pennsylvania.

“The lack of coordination regarding the COVID vaccine roll out is confusing, frustrating and unnecessary,” Burns said. “Today I voted to allow the Pennsylvania National Guard to get involved and bring their logistical expertise onboard to assist local providers. This should have been done a long time ago, and I hope the Senate will vote quickly, as well.”

Burns noted that the state National Guard has both the infrastructure, human capital, and logistics to make sure that the vaccine is distributed to all in a timely fashion and efficiently. Several other states and territories have already started to utilize their National Guard to assist with vaccine distribution.

“In order to get back to normal, it is critical that we get this vaccine into the arms of as many people as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Burns said. “We have to do something to get this vaccine rollout going in the right direction, and the National Guard can help with that.”

The bill, H.B. 326, is headed to the state Senate for consideration.