Last Thursday, Governor Tom Wolf and the members of the bipartisan COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force sent a letter to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation, and county and local officials asking them to support vaccination efforts in the commonwealth and encourage their constituents to get vaccinated.
“Part of serving the public is ensuring that our constituents have accurate and timely information on public health risks like the Delta variant of COVID-19,” said Gov. Wolf. “Vaccination is an important way that all of us can keep our family, friends and community members safe from more contagious and more dangerous variants of COVID-19 – especially vulnerable Pennsylvanians and children under 12 who don’t have the option to get vaccinated right now.
“Thank you to the members of the Vaccine Task Force for your hard work and advocacy to save lives. I am calling on every elected official in the commonwealth to support our efforts to protect lives by spreading the word about the simple, easy way Pennsylvanians can protect their loved ones: getting vaccinated.”
The letter calls on officials to use all means at their disposal – including social media, newsletters and events – to connect with constituents and encourage them to take the simple step of getting vaccinated. High vaccination rates are the best protection our communities have against COVID-19.
The letter reads as follows:
Through the diligent work and cooperation of the Vaccine Task Force, the Department of Health, our statewide network of vaccine providers, and many of you, Pennsylvania has made admirable progress in our vaccine rollout and as of July 28th we stand ranked 8th in the nation for first doses administered. Not coincidentally, we also stand at 45th in the nation for new COVID cases per capita. Unfortunately, the rising tide of the Delta variant is lifting case numbers in all states, and Pennsylvania is no exception – our statewide 7-day average daily caseload has nearly quadrupled in just three weeks. Low case counts and high rates of vaccination in eligible people are what keep all of us, including the immunocompromised and children under twelve, safer as we return to our normal routines.
We are at a pivotal moment in this pandemic – a moment that has already passed in states like Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana – where we can either stand by as COVID evolves into a disease that hospitalizes people at rates rivaling the COVID we knew in 2020, or we can redouble our vaccination efforts and work together to protect the progress we have made and avoid the consequences of widespread infection. We know what those consequences would be: dangerous living conditions for our elderly loved ones in long-term care facilities, workplaces with fewer available workers, and full hospitals.
We are asking you to take advantage of this moment and use every tool at your disposal, starting now, to encourage your constituents to be vaccinated. We are all connected to our constituents on social media, through local events, newsletters, and more. We can talk to our constituents directly, we can elevate the voices of local trusted healthcare providers, we can discuss our own experiences, and talk about our shared goals: protecting ourselves and those we love. Please do this with care, with understanding, and with urgency.
Free resources are available at pa.gov/COVID. Thank you for your continued efforts and your attention to this vital matter.