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Congressman Brown Introduces Legislation to Make Vaccination Registration Easy and Simple for Every American

Americans are confused and frustrated with a patchwork vaccination system that must be addressed

“Quick and equitable distribution of vaccines is critical to our efforts to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, too many states are relying on a patchwork of disjointed and cumbersome third-party private systems, leaving many Americans frustrated, confused and left behind. State governments must step-up to meet the needs of their residents, particularly those most vulnerable to this deadly virus.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) introduced legislation to streamline vaccination registrations throughout the country. The Vaccine Administration Centralization to Coordinate and Improve National Execution Act, or VACCINE Act, would incentivize states to create a one-stop portal for residents to sign-up for available vaccine appointments.

Far too many Americans are finding the process to register for a vaccine to be cumbersome, frustrating and confusing. States like Maryland and Massachusetts require residents to sign-up for available vaccination appointments through both public and private websites. Each requires multiple forms, waiting in long queues and inputting information repeatedly. Despite this, many eligible Americans still don’t know their place in line or when they will get vaccinated. 

Residents have to rely on luck and put in long hours refreshing websites to be able to secure a dose, putting vulnerable populations at risk. The patchwork process for registering and administering vaccinations is unacceptable. With state governments failing to meet the challenge, volunteers around the country have taken it upon themselves to create crowdsourced websites and apps to simplify the registration process.

These obstacles disproportionately affect those most impacted by the pandemic: seniors, people of color, and rural communities. Whether it is the digital divide, a greater likelihood to be a frontline worker or the distances that they must travel for a vaccine, these groups face barriers to equitable access to the vaccine. 

“Quick and equitable distribution of vaccines is critical to our efforts to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, too many states are relying on a patchwork of disjointed and cumbersome third-party private systems, leaving many Americans frustrated, confused and left behind. State governments must step-up to meet the needs of their residents, particularly those most vulnerable to this deadly virus,” said Congressman Anthony Brown. “To save lives, it is imperative that federal, state and local governments make getting a vaccine as easy as possible for working families across our country. I believe we are up to this challenge.”

The VACCINE Act would provide grants to every state to create or maintain a centralized system for residents to register for a vaccine. Additionally, the legislation would ensure that systems are developed under modern design principles to streamline the process. And, create a national website and call center as a starting point for Americans to find information about the state registration systems.

States like New Mexico, West Virginia and New Hampshire have successfully implemented centralized vaccination sign-ups, and lead the rest of the country for administration. After seeing this success, multiple states are preparing to launch centralized vaccine sign-ups. 

Nearly 56 million total vaccine doses have been administered and almost 1.7 million Americans are being vaccinated every day. As the number of vaccines available has increased by more than 50% over the last 3 weeks, we must ensure we have the most efficient process to get Americans vaccinated as quickly and as equitably as possible.

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