Pharmacists Can Provide Child Flu Shots in Pennsylvania

June 30, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

Pennsylvania pharmacists can provide flu shots to children under a new law signed by Governor Tom Wolf.

Pennsylvania pharmacists can provide flu shots to children under a new law signed by Governor Tom Wolf.

House Bill 182 was signed into law on June 26, 2015, and will take effect 60 days following that date.

With prior parental consent, pharmacists in Pennsylvania will be permitted to vaccinate children as young as 9 against influenza. They will need to notify the patient’s primary care provider within 48 hours of administering the vaccine.

Licensed pharmacy interns who receive education and training may also provide the flu vaccine to children aged 9 years or older under the direct supervision of a pharmacist who has the authority to provide immunizations.

The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA) has been lobbying for the law since last year’s session of the state General Assembly, PPA CEO Patricia A. Epple told Pharmacy Times in an exclusive interview.

“We have been hearing from many pharmacists that families will come in wanting to get the whole family immunized, only to find that the pharmacist is unable to immunize children,” she said. “I think that allowing pharmacists to do so will ultimately be very convenient for these patients and families. Pharmacies will also see a benefit in not being forced to turn patients away.”

Bill sponsor Representative Seth Grove told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the bill will allow for more access to influenza immunization.

“Parents and individuals are always around pharmacies, whether that be at grocery stores or [other locations],” he told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Hopefully, now, we will see a nice uptick in immunization.”

Nearly 40% of Pennsylvania children did not receive vaccination during the 2013-2014 flu season, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.