State-licensed pharmacists and pharmacy interns will be able to order and administer coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines under certain conditions.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has authorized state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer, and state-licensed or registered pharmacy interns under the supervision of the pharmacist to administer, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines to individuals ages 3 or older, according to an announcement.1
The guidance was issued under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act and comes after HHS recently authorized all state-licensed pharmacists and pharmacy interns to order and administer childhood vaccinations amid the pandemic.
“This is tremendous news,” Scott J Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP, executive vice president and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association said in a statement.2 “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 for them.”
“This is an extremely important decision by the Administration,” NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson said in a statement.3 “When safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations are available, it will be essential to have pharmacies and pharmacists prepared to be ‘ready, set, go.’”
The authorization includes the following requirements:1
Additionally, HHS noted that the authorization preempts any state and local laws that prohibit or effectively prohibit 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 to permit additional individuals to administer COVID-19 vaccines to additional individuals.