On September 9th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act authorizing state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer—and pharmacy interns acting under supervision of qualified pharmacists to administer—COVID-19 vaccinations (once approved and available) to persons ages 3 and older. This authorization preempts state and local laws that prohibit qualified pharmacists from ordering and administering COVID-19 vaccines and will remain in effect during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The AmerisourceBergen Government Affairs and Policy team has been advocating for legislators and regulators to empower pharmacists to provide and be reimbursed for testing and immunization services, especially in efforts to help with COVID-19 response. We are pleased to see this new guidance in response to advocacy efforts by AmerisourceBergen, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, NCPA, NACDS, APhA, ADPC and many other pharmacy organizations. We will continue to advocate, in the states and in Congress, for additional legislative and regulatory pathways to recognize and reimburse pharmacists as providers.