New York, California Enact Legislation Expanding Vaccine Authority for Pharmacists

Pharmacists in 2 states are now empowered to administer FDA approved, CDC recommended vaccines.

Two states have expanded vaccine authority for pharmacists, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul signed Assembly Bill A6476A1 which authorizes pharmacists to provide CDC-recommended immunizations for adults 18 years and older, including vaccines for hepatitis A and B, human papillomavirus, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. The legislation also, according to a press release, “makes permanent the ability for licensed pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.”2

“Immunizations are the best tool at our disposal for protecting public health and we must implement every sensible measure to make vaccines widely available,” said Governor Hocul in a press release.2 “With this new law, we are expanding the locations where New Yorkers can go to get vaccines to protect their own health—and the health of their communities.”

This expanded access follows the publication of studies showing that pharmacist-provided immunizations lead to an increase in overall vaccination rates.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law several bills that would expand the services of various health care practitioners,3 including AB 10644 that, similar to the New York state legislation, expands pharmacists’ ability to administer a “wider array of vaccinations and testing,” according to a press release.3 This legislation builds on emergency action taken earlier in the pandemic5 to expand the California health care workforce. According to the text of the bill, pharmacists in the state can now “independently initiate and administer any vaccine that has been approved or authorized by the FDA and received an [Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] individual vaccine recommendation published by the CDC” for patients 3 years of age and older.4

References

  1. Assembly Bill A6476A, State of New York Assembly (2021). Accessed November 8, 2021. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/A6476
  2. Governor Hochul signs legislation authorizing pharmacists to administer additional vaccines recommended by CDC to patients 18 and older. News release. New York State. November 2, 2021. Accessed November 8, 2021. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-signs-legislation-authorizing-pharmacists-administer-additional-vaccines
  3. Governor Newsom signs COVID-19 recovery package to support businesses, continue successful pandemic adaptions. News release. Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. October 8, 2021. Accessed November 8, 2021. https://www.gov.ca.gov/2021/10/08/governor-newsom-signs-covid-19-recovery-package-to-support-businesses-continue-successful-pandemic-adaptations/.
  4. An act to amend Section 4052.8 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to pharmacy. California Assembly (2021). Accessed November 8, 2021. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB1064
  5. Governor Newsom takes action to support California’s hospitals and schools amid Delta variant impacts. News release. Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. August 16, 2021. Accessed November 8, 2021. https://www.gov.ca.gov/2021/08/16/governor-newsom-takes-action-to-support-californias-hospitals-and-schools-amid-delta-variant-impacts/