Press Room

ASTHO President and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Testifies Before Congress about COVID-19 Vaccinations

ARLINGTON, VA (Dec. 10, 2020)—Rachel Levine, MD, secretary of health for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) testified today before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety at a hearing entitled, "The Logistics of Transporting a COVID-19 Vaccine."

During her testimony, Dr. Levine shared the complexities involved with administering the COVID-19 vaccine and reiterated the need for a comprehensive national approach to ensure the success of this endeavor.

"Right now, public health officials throughout the country are laser focused in moving towards that vision by ensuring all people have access to the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccinations. It will take very careful orchestration to get the right vaccine into the right arm at the right time," says Levine.

"This will not be a short-term operation and we expect this will take months to vaccinate all the citizens across the states and territories. This task will be undertaken by a public health and healthcare system that is already strained and stressed by the current and ongoing response to COVID-19. The resource challenges – monetary and personnel – are enormous and there is a grave need for Congress to provide emergency supplemental funding to support additional personnel and the creation of an impactful communication campaign to ensure that we can achieve the life-saving goal of vaccinating everyone who wants it in order to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control."

For more information and to read Dr. Levine’s testimony, visit the committee’s website.

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ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.