|Posted:||March 10, 2021 05:20 PM|
|From:||Senator Judy Ward|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Making Pennsylvania’s Pharmacy Immunization Statute Consistent with Federal Law|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will make Pennsylvania’s Pharmacy Practice Act consistent with federal guidance as well as current practice in the Commonwealth for access and coverage of childhood and COVID vaccines.
In March of 2020, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department allowed for the administration of immunizations to children ages three and older under the Third Amendment to the federal PREP Act Declaration. This declaration also allowed pharmacy technicians trained in CPR and hands-on injection techniques to administer immunizations under the supervision of a pharmacist. The Declaration was adopted by all 50 states, including Pennsylvania. Therefore, pharmacies have been providing childhood vaccines for many months in the Commonwealth without incident. Also, of note, pharmacists have been safely administering flu vaccines to children since 2015 in PA. Between 2018-2020, pharmacies administered nearly 5 million immunizations in Pennsylvania without incident.
This legislation would allow pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians to continue administering any immunization to a child aged three and older with parental consent. It would also establish training and education prerequisites approved by the State Board of Pharmacy and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to be completed by the pharmacy technicians, interns, and pharmacists who administer these vaccines.
Additionally, this bill will require pharmacists to report the administration of these vaccines to the Department of Health’s immunization registry and to the patient’s primary care physician.
There is already significant deployment of broadened pharmacy care throughout the nation and the Commonwealth due to the pandemic. Across the nation, 17 states allow pharmacists to administer immunizations to individuals ages three and up and the vast majority of states allow pharmacists to administer immunizations to minors of varying ages. Given the severity of COVID-19, now is the time to utilize the full skillset of pharmacists to deliver patient care and support the healthcare team. Pharmacists have proven they have the knowledge and know-how to bring healthcare into communities.
I hope that you will join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation to update the Commonwealth’s Pharmacy Practice Act and expand access to neighborhood-based healthcare during this critical time.
Introduced as SB511