Pharmacy Students Help Change Ohio Immunization Law

January 26, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

Students and faculty at a pharmacy school have helped push a new bill into law that will allow pharmacists and pharmacy interns in Ohio to provide certain immunizations to more patients.

Students and faculty at the University of Cincinnati’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy have helped push a new bill into law that will allow pharmacists and pharmacy interns in Ohio to provide certain immunizations to more patients, according to a school press release.

Currently, pharmacists in Ohio can only administer flu shots to adolescents aged 14 years or older, while pharmacy interns can only provide flu shots to adults aged 18 years or older. The new state law, which the school’s students and faculty members have been fighting for since 2013, will allow pharmacists and pharmacy interns to provide flu shots to all patients aged 7 years or older.

Erin Rogers, a pharmacy student who testified in favor of the new bill, argued that Ohio pharmacists could not provide the same level of care as their peers in Kentucky, where pharmacists and pharmacy interns are able to administer flu shots to minors.

“This bill expands access to immunizations for many patients across the state of Ohio,” said Rogers, who is also a pharmacy intern and the University of Cincinnati’s student representative in the Ohio Pharmacists Association Board of Trustees. “Pharmacy interns are now allowed to administer the same immunizations as a certified immunizing pharmacist, which we were not allowed to do previously. This was a valuable experience for me to understand the law-changing process.”

The bill, which will go into effect March 19, 2015, was signed by Gov. John Kasich.