HHS issues guidance allowing pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccine

HHS on Wednesday issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to expand access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are made available.

HHS on Wednesday issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to expand access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are made available. The guidance authorizes state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer, and state-licensed or registered pharmacy interns acting under the supervision of the qualified pharmacist to administer, COVID-19 vaccinations to persons aged 3 years or older, subject to certain requirements. "This action builds upon our Administration's progress toward delivering a safe, effective, and widely available vaccine by 2021," said Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir, MD. "Allowing pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 vaccines will greatly expand convenient access for the American people." The vaccine must be FDA-authorized or FDA-licensed. The vaccination also must be ordered and administered according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' COVID-19 vaccine recommendation. The authorization preempts any state and local laws that prohibit or effectively prohibit those who satisfy these requirements from ordering or administering COVID-19 vaccines. The authorization does not preempt state and local laws that permit additional individuals to administer COVID-19 vaccines to additional persons.