APhA Hails HHS Announcement Authorizing Pharmacists to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines
CONTACT: Frank Fortin
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today authorized pharmacists to order and administer (and interns to administer) COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved or licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to all individuals age 3 or older. Pharmacist interns must do so while acting under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist.
“This is tremendous news,” said Scott J. Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP, Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association. “It properly recognizes that pharmacists serve a vital role in the nation’s response to this pandemic. It increases patients’ access to care during this emergency with providers whom they trust, at a time and place that is convenient to them.”
The conditions are:
- The vaccine must be FDA-authorized or FDA-licensed.
- The vaccination must be ordered and administered according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' (ACIP) COVID-19 vaccine recommendation.
- The licensed pharmacist must complete a practical training program of at least 20 hours that is approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). This training program must include hands-on injection technique, clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of vaccines, and the recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines.
- The licensed or registered pharmacy intern must complete a practical training program that is approved by the ACPE.
- The licensed pharmacist and licensed or registered pharmacy intern must have a current certificate in basic CPR.
- The licensed pharmacist must complete a minimum of two hours of ACPE-approved, immunization-related continuing pharmacy education during each state licensing period.
- The licensed pharmacist must comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the jurisdiction in which he or she administers vaccines, including reviewing the vaccine registry or other vaccination records prior to administering a vaccine.
- The licensed pharmacist must, if the patient is 18 years of age or younger, inform the patient and the adult caregiver accompanying the patient of the importance of a well-child visit with a pediatrician or other licensed primary-care provider and refer patients as appropriate.
- The licensed pharmacist and the licensed or registered pharmacy intern must comply with any applicable requirements (or conditions of use) as set forth in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 vaccination provider agreement and any other federal requirements that apply to the administration of COVID-19 vaccine(s).
- The authorization preempts any state and local laws that prohibit or effectively prohibits those who satisfy these requirements from ordering or administering COVID-19 vaccines as set forth above. The authorization does not preempt state and local laws that permit additional individuals to administer COVID-19 vaccines to additional persons.