CLOVIS (KSMX) – Pharmacists in all 50 states are now allowed to give childhood vaccinations under a new directive aimed at preventing future outbreaks of measles and other preventable diseases, according to the Associated Press.
The head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, took this step using his emergency powers during the public health emergency of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic. The directive announced Wednesday will temporarily preempt restrictions in 22 states starting this fall.
Azar stated that the move is designed to help prevent vaccination rates from falling during the pandemic. He went on to say that it is critical that children have easy access to all pediatric vaccinations to enable them to get back to school as the schools begin to reopen.
Currently only 28 states allow pharmacists to administer vaccinations to children and in 22 states, laws limit such vaccinations, including three states that prohibit pharmacists from giving immunizations to any kids.
The HHS authorization allows state-licensed pharmacies to administer childhood vaccines without a doctor’s prescription to children over the age of 3. Pharmacists must first complete a training program, although many already have.