Pharmacists urge Texas legislators to expand vaccine access

May 1, 2015

Pharmacists recently joined consumers and Texas businesses in urging state legislators to approve legislation that would authorize pharmacists to administer government-recommended vaccines to children 7 years and older.

Pharmacists recently joined consumers and Texas businesses in urging state legislators to approve legislation that would authorize pharmacists to administer government-recommended vaccines to children 7 years and older.

Senate Bill 480 would permit pharmacists to administer vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to children age 7 and older with parental permission.

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The legislation was introduced by State Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) but has languished in the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee since February. The legislative session ends in June.

“We cannot be complacent when it comes to children and teens staying up to date on their vaccines,” said Doug Chadwick, a pharmacist with Myers Drug in San Angelo, Texas. “Lawmakers must act on Senate Bill 480 now to give Texas children greater protection from preventable diseases. This legislation isn’t doing anyone any good sitting in committee.”

Groups supporting the legislation include the Texas Pharmacy Business Council, Texas Truecare Pharmacies, Texas Independent Pharmacies Association, Texas Federation of Drug Stores, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Pharmacy Choice, and Access Now.

 

Presently, Texas pharmacists can administer flu vaccines to children age 7 and older, but are restricted from administering other CDC-recommended vaccines to anyone younger than age 14.

Chadwick noted that adolescent vaccination rates in Texas for measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B are below the national average. “Pharmacist-provided vaccines offer safe, easy access to vaccines for people who might not otherwise get them.  We have seen through our experience with flu shots that allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines helps drive up immunization rates,” Chadwick said.