Pharmacy Groups Praise New York COVID-19 Pharmacist Vaccination Law

June 18, 2020

New legislation authorizes licensed New York pharmacists to administer a vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) when it becomes available.

New York pharmacists can provide the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine when it becomes available, according to new legislation.

The Community Pharmacy Association of New York State and NACDS praised the new law, based on legislation (S. 8182-A / A. 10508-A) that adds COVID-19 to the list of illnesses for which pharmacists can vaccinate, NACDS said in a press release.

The legislation was led by State Senator Brad Hoylman (D) and State Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D) and was signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“Now is the time to make sure that people will be able to get their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as it becomes available. It is essential that all states continue to remove barriers for pharmacies to help meet the needs of patients during this phase of the pandemic,” said Community Pharmacy Association of New York State President and Noble Health Services President Mike Duteau and NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson in a joint statement

The H1N1 pandemic of 2009 taught the critical lesson that pharmacies and pharmacists play an irreplaceable role in vaccination campaigns, and since that time patients have come to know that they can obtain more and more of their vaccinations safely and conveniently at the pharmacy, Duteau and Anderson said. 

Related: Pharmacies Prepare For Possible Surge In Flu Vaccinations This Season

In fact, a federal government study found that, in a pandemic situation, 80% of the US population can be vaccinated 7 weeks faster when pharmacies are involved. A poll conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS found that 79% of New York State voters say pharmacists should be allowed to provide a COVID-19 vaccine.

Both associations also want New Yorkers to know that the CDC now advises that Americans continue to receive all of their recommended vaccinations—a practice that was suspended during the height of the pandemic to help with physical distancing.

The associations are also urging New York to maintain the operational flexibilities provided to pharmacies during the pandemic “to help ensure pharmacies are well-prepared to meet patients’ demands during what is expected to be an early and compressed flu vaccination season,” NACDS said.