Today, Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) applauded the House passage of legislation that would allow more health professionals to administer the coronavirus vaccine, extend professional licenses and help low-income Ohioans pay for utilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“This bill supports positive progress towards effectively responding to the effects of this ongoing public health crisis,” said Rep. Russo. “By allowing more health professionals to administer the coronavirus vaccine, extending professional licenses to fill our workforce needs, and helping lower-income Ohioans pay for utilities amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are both protecting our most vulnerable Ohioans and laying the groundwork for a safe and secure post-pandemic future.”
The state’s vaccine rollout has been slowed as Ohioans in vulnerable populations struggle to schedule appointments due to limited doses and availability of providers. The bill would improve access to the coronavirus vaccine for more Ohioans by authorizing additional health care providers to administer the vaccine, including podiatrists, pharmacists and pharmacy interns.
Other provisions of the bill include:
· Allowing pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests;
· Requiring the Board of Nursing to issue temporary licenses to registered nurses and license practical nurses;
· Requiring educator preparation programs to develop alternative experiences to allow students to make up for missed clinical experiences during the pandemic;
· Extending energy efficiency programs that help lower-income Ohioans earning at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level;
The bill passed the House and now heads to the Senate for consideration.