|Posted:||January 10, 2019 02:51 PM|
|From:||Senator Judy Ward|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Pharmacy Administration of Vaccines|
I plan to introduce legislation that was introduced last session by Senator Thomas McGarrigle as Senate Bill 626 which would amend 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.
In 2016, IRRC 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 Act 8 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.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as SB274