On August 19 Pharmacy organizations were claiming victory after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated about their decision to allow all state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer childhood vaccinations amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the third amendment to the Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act), all state-licensed pharmacists (and pharmacy interns acting under their supervision, if the pharmacy intern is licensed or registered by his or her state board of pharmacy) that been authorizes by HHS can order vaccine and use it for vaccination persons 3 – 18 years old.
This decision follows the Trump administration’s deal to order more than 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which became known on August 11.
Pharmacist Demands For Childhood Vaccinations
There are some demands that pharmacists use to follow, according to HHS:
- The vaccine must be approved or licensed by the FDA.
- The vaccination must be ordered and administered according to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) immunization schedules.
- The licensed pharmacist must complete a practical training program of at least 20 hours that is approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). This training program must include hands-on injection technique, clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of vaccines, and the recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines.
- The licensed or registered pharmacy intern must complete a practical training program that is approved by the ACPE. This training program must include hands-on injection technique, clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of vaccines, and the recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines.
- The licensed pharmacist and licensed or registered pharmacy intern must have a current certificate in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- The licensed pharmacist must complete a minimum of 2 hours of ACPE-approved, immunization-related continuing pharmacy education during each state licensing period.
- The licensed pharmacist must inform his or her childhood-vaccination patients and the adult caregivers accompanying the children of the importance of a well-child visit with a pediatrician or other licensed primary care provider and refer patients as appropriate.
“Today’s action means easier access to lifesaving childhood vaccinations, as we seek to ensure immunization rates remain high during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trump Administration has worked to allow pharmacists—alongside all of America’s heroic healthcare workers—to practice at the top of their license, empowering the public with more options to protect their health and well-being,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Nowadays, because of the quarantine many families prefer to stay at home, and skip routine childhood immunizations. This skipping is very dangerous for public health threat that’s why this amendment urgently needed to be done.