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AUSTIN, Texas — Legislation proposed in Texas' state legislature would expand the range of vaccines that pharmacists can administer to children.
Currently, pharmacists in the state can administer the flu vaccine to children older than 7 years, but they can only administer other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis to those ages 14 years and older. The new legislation, including bills introduced in the state Senate and House, would allow pharmacists to administer those vaccines to children ages 7 years and older as well.
The proposed legislation drew praise from the Texas Pharmacy Association, which noted that the state ranks below the national average when it comes to immunization rates. The TPA cited a poll of 836 Texas voters conducted last month by Baselice and Associates showed that 93% of respondents agree that children, with parental consent, should be protected against common childhood diseases, while 87% agreed that trained pharmacists should be allowed to administer vaccines.
"Pharmacists are highly qualified and trusted healthcare providers who are in the best position to help meet the growing immunization demand and reduce the number of vaccine-preventable diseases for thousands of Texas children," TPA CEO Joe DaSilva said. "Unfortunately, there are still many immunizations that Texans do not have easy access to, including the highly contagious pertussis."