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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2015 02:05 PM
From: Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle
To: All Senate members
Subject: Immunizations by Pharmacists
I intend to reintroduce Senate Bill 819 of 2013, legislation that will amend Section 9.2 of the Pharmacy Act to allow Pharmacists the ability to administer the flu vaccine to children 7 years of age and older with parental consent. The legislation will also permit pharmacy interns who have completed appropriate education and training requirements to administer the flu vaccine under the direct, immediate and personal supervision of a pharmacist who is authorized to administer immunizations. Last session, this legislation was passed by the Senate by a vote of 50-0.

Currently, PA law allows pharmacists and pharmacy interns to immunize adults (18 years of age and older). Since the original immunization expansion legislation passed in the Commonwealth more than 10 years ago, PA pharmacists have been successful in improving immunization rates for adults. Nationally, it is estimated that during the 2011-12 flu season, 20% of adults received the flu vaccination in a pharmacy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children at least six months old receive a flu shot every year, but only about 55% of Pennsylvania children do. Pennsylvania’s more than 6,600 certified pharmacist immunizers have been safely providing immunizations to adults for over 10 years. In 2013, pharmacists administered more than 940,000 immunizations in the Commonwealth. This would allow parents to have another safe and convenient option to keep their children healthy.

Another added benefit of this legislation is to help our active duty, military veterans and their dependents. Under TRICARE, the military’s health plan, all immunizations administered by a pharmacist are covered by the health plan without any co-payment. This bill would make it possible for the children of military personnel to receive free flu vaccinations.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB305