Monday, September 15, 2008

New Law Lets Pharmacists Administer Flu Vaccinations

From the New York Times:
Gov. David A. Paterson signed legislation this week that will let pharmacists administer flu and pneumonia shots, a change expected to increase the number of adults vaccinated statewide.

Starting Dec. 4, New York pharmacists who complete state training and certification will be permitted to give the shots with a prescription from a physician or nurse practitioner. Three-year certifications will cost $100.

“Allowing pharmacists to immunize would increase access to vaccinations, as pharmacies are open long hours, on weekends and most holidays,” said Senator Charles J. Fuschillo Jr., a Long Island Republican who sponsored the bill.

State records showed 20,303 state-licensed pharmacists at the start of 2008, with 16,219 listing primary mailing addresses in New York.

In their memo supporting the bill, Assembly sponsors said that every other state except Maine already allowed the vaccinations, and that studies showed adult immunization rates for annual flu shots improved significantly after such a change. In New York City alone, some health experts said, the measure could increase the number of elderly residents who get the shots by 50,000 or more. ...more

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