Health and Human Services authorizes pharmacists to give children COVID-19 vaccines once available

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to expand access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are made available, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the guidance authorized state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 vaccinations to persons 3 years and older. State-licensed or registered pharmacy interns under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist were also granted authorization.

"This action builds upon our administration's progress toward delivering a safe, effective, and widely available vaccine by 2021," said Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D. "Allowing pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 vaccines will greatly expand convenient access for the American people."

Here are a few of the requirements:

  • The vaccine must be FDA-authorized or FDA-licensed
  • The vaccination must be ordered and administered according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' COVID-19 vaccine recommendation
  • The licensed pharmacist must complete a practical training program of at least 20 hours that is approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. 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 must comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the jurisdiction in which he or she administers vaccines, including reviewing the vaccine registry or other vaccination records prior to administering a vaccine
  • The licensed pharmacist and the licensed or registered pharmacy intern must comply with any applicable requirements (or conditions of use) as set forth in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination provider agreement and any other federal requirements that apply to the administration of COVID-19 vaccine(s)


Earlier this month HHS said there were concerns over children missing out on doctors' visits due to COVID-19. The American Academy of Pediatrics called that decision "incredibly misguided," saying children would not get the same level of care they would from their pediatrician and that doctors' offices are open and safe.
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