New Hampshire Passes Bill Allowing Pharmacist-Provided COVID-19 Vaccinations

August 3, 2020

The state joins New York and Minnesota in providing COVID-19 vaccination access through pharmacy.

New Hampshire has passed into law authorization for pharmacists to administer vaccinations for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) once it becomes available.1

Governor Christopher Sununu signed HB1639 into law, following the lead of Minnesota and New York, both of which have recently passed legislation allowing pharmacist-administered COVID-19 vaccinations.1,2

Because many individuals in the United States do not have reliable access to a physician, pharmacist are uniquely positioned to provide health care for these populations, including access to a COVID-19 vaccine.3

Pharmacy organizations have praised state bills expanding the scope of pharmac amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as national initiatives that have recognized pharmacists as assets during this unprecedented time of health care strain. In early June, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) wrote a letter to Dr Slaoui and General Perna at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) facilitating the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine through American pharmacies.4 Last week, HHS invited NACDS president and chief executive officer Steven Anderson to serve on its newly formed Vaccine Consultation Panel (VCP).

Vaccination rates have waned pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home and quarantining orders nationwide. However, the has notified Americans about the importance of continuing to stay on schedule for receiving their vaccinations in order to prevent dual infection of COVID-19.

Kathleen Jaeger, NACDS senior vice president of pharmacy care and patient advocacy, told Drug Topics in a video interview that the association has been working with HHS to expand COVID-19 testing to pharmaciesprovid COVID-19 vaccines once it is available to the public.

“We're carrying that same strategy forward in the vaccination world right now. We are working and having discussions about the need for HHS and the White House to issue another guidance under the PREP Act, to basically ensure that all the needless barriers, like age restrictions and the like, can be removed so that we can pursue rapid acceleration of vaccinations to everyone in the communities,” Jaeger said.



References:

  1. New Hampshire authorizes pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccine. News Release. NCPA; July 31, 2020. Accessed August 3, 2020. https://ncpa.org/newsroom/qam/2020/07/31/qam-ad-new-hampshire-authorizes-pharmacists-administer-covid-19-vaccine.
  2. New Hampshire House Bill 1639. LegiScan. July 16, 2020. Accessed August 3, 2020. https://legiscan.com/NH/text/HB1639/2020.
  3. Silva L. Getting Ahead of the COVID-19 Vaccine. ASTHO. July 15, 2020. Accessed August 3, 2020. https://www.astho.org/StatePublicHealth/Getting-Ahead-of-the-COVID-19-Vaccine/07-15-20/.
  4. Anderson SC. Accelerate Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines to Americans through Community Pharmacies. NACDS. June 1, 2020. Accessed August 3, 2020. https://www.nacds.org/pdfs/government/2020/NACDS-COVID-19-Vaccine-Operation-Warp-Speed-Letter-6-1-2020.pdf.