Albertsons announced its pharmacies will begin to offer vaccinations to children 3 years and older nationwide.
Soon after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cleared pharmacists in all states to administer childhood vaccinations, Albertsons announced its pharmacies will begin to offer vaccinations to children 3 years and older nationwide.1
Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, HHS authorized all state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer childhood vaccines amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.2 The move was lauded by national pharmacy organizations and represents the government’s recognition of pharmacists’ critical role in community-based health care delivery.
“COVID has disrupted normal life in so many ways,” said Brian Hille, vice president of patient care services and specialty for Albertsons in a news release.1 “Another consequence is the difficulty in making routine well-child appointments, which threatens to decrease child vaccination rates.”
“Our pharmacy teams are dedicated to the health and wellness of the communities they serve and are ready to provide this important health protection to a precious population—our children,” Hille added.1
The CDC reported a “troubling drop” in routine childhood immunizations as a result of families staying at home due to the pandemic, HHS said in a news release.3 “While families followed public health warnings about going out, an unfortunate result was many missed routine vaccinations. This decrease in childhood-vaccination rates is a public health threat and a collateral harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Albertsons assured patients that, prior to administering a vaccine, a pharmacist will review the child’s vaccine history through the state’s immunization registry.1
“All doses that are administered will be reported to the child’s primary care provider and the state registry. The pharmacist will also ensure that the child’s parent or guardian understands that a well-child visit is still [an] important feature of preventative care,” Albertsons said.1
No appointment is necessary for childhood vaccines, the retailer noted, reminding patients that flu and other vaccines can be administered on a “walk-in” basis. It also affirmed the importance of getting the flu vaccine this season.1
“Preventing against influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic is especially important—both to avoid getting other infections at the same time and reducing the burden on an already strained health care system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] are encouraging flu and other vaccinations this year to stay healthy and minimize the strain on our national health systems,” Albertsons said.1
1. Albertsons Companies pharmacies introduce child vaccination services to fill critical gap in care caused by COVID-19. News release. Albertsons; September 2, 2020. Accessed September 9, 2020. https://www.albertsonscompanies.com/newsroom/9-2-20-Pharmacies-introduce-child-vaccination-services.html
2. Third Amendment to Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID–19. HHS; August 19, 2020. Accessed August 19, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/third-amendment-declaration.pdf
3. HHS expands access to childhood vaccines during COVID-19 pandemic. News release. HHS; August 19, 2020. Accessed August 19, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/08/19/hhs-expands-access-childhood-vaccines-during-covid-19-pandemic.html