September 17, 2020

HHS Guidance Allows Pharmacists to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine

Citing the extended hours and added convenience of pharmacies, on Sept. 3, HHS  issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to expand access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines once available. Pharmacists and pharmacy interns would  be considered "covered persons" under the PREP Act and guidance specifically authorizes state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 vaccinations that have been authorized or licensed by the FDA to patients three years and older, subject to certain requirements. State-licensed pharmacy interns acting under the supervision of a qualifying pharmacist are also permitted to administer the vaccine. HHS notes that the authorization preempts any state or local laws that prohibit or effectively prohibit pharmacists and interns who would otherwise be able to perform vaccination under the new guidance.