Since the 1990s, states have made laws to increase access to immunization services by giving pharmacists authority to give vaccines, said, of Texas A&M University at College Station, and , director of the Public Health Law Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. This has the advantage of pharmacies being open longer hours than most physicians’ offices, in addition to the opportunities for immunizing people in rural locations as well as those people without a regular physician.
Yet barriers to pharmacists’ providing immunization services remain because of some state laws. Laws in nine states that prevent pharmacists from vaccinating patients younger than age 18 years keep pharmacists from administering any of the vaccines listed in the 2016 Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices child immunization schedule. The two states in which pharmacists can vaccinate patients as young as 14 years allow the pharmacists to administer only the recommended booster for meningococcal vaccine and annual influenza vaccines for children. And the 15 states with minimum patient age restrictions for 7- to 12-year-oldss allow pharmacists to administer only the four vaccines ACIP recommends on the 2016 schedule for children (meningococcal, Tdap, human papillomavirus, and annual influenza vaccines).
Read more in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association ().