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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 2, 2017 01:05 PM
From: Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pharmacy Administration of Vaccines

In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that amends the Pharmacy Practice Act to allow pharmacists and pharmacy interns the ability to administer all Centers for Disease Control recommended vaccines to patients nine years of age and older. Pharmacists safely administer more than one million immunizations annually.

Currently in Pennsylvania, there are approximately 9,500 certified pharmacist immunizers available to safely and conveniently administer immunizations. Last session, with the passage of Act 8 of 2015, licensed pharmacists and pharmacy interns now administer influenza immunizations to patients nine years of age and older, with parental permission and 48 hour notification to the primary doctor. Act 8 has been helping to protect the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens by allowing parents to get their children vaccinated against the flu by providing a safe and convenient location.

My legislation would allow licensed pharmacists and pharmacy interns, under the direct supervision of a pharmacist who possesses an immunization license, to administer all Centers for Disease Control recommended immunizations to patients over nine years of age, as they are trained to provide. Additionally, it would give the Board of Pharmacy the authority to recognize immunizing pharmacist’s credentials from another state Pennsylvania has reciprocal agreements. Currently, the Board of Pharmacy may only recognize the pharmacist’s license to practice from another state.

IRRC recently approved the Department of Health’s changes to the school immunization regulations which mandate that all school aged children must be vaccinated upon school entry. This legislation opens 9,500 access points in order to better help parents comply with the regulations, preventing the possible exclusion from school. Although the passage of last session’s legislation was a significant step, allowing parents to further utilize these pharmacist immunizers is critical in protecting the children of the commonwealth from preventable diseases.

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. Pennsylvania veterans and their children deserve this added benefit they can’t take advantage of without a change of the law.

Introduced as SB626