WASHINGTON — A coalition of consumers, businesses and pharmacists is promoting greater access to immunizations to mark World Immunization Week, which started Wednesday and lasts until next Tuesday.
Pharmacy Choice and Access Now said it was encouraging states to expand the types of vaccines that pharmacists can administer.
"More than 50,000 adults and 300 children die from vaccine-preventable diseases or from their complications each year in the U.S. alone - I think we can do better than that," PCAN chairman and VP business development of pharmacy services firm PPSC Bill Mincy said. "Expanding immunization authority for pharmacists is a sure way to increase access to vaccines and keep our communities healthy. I encourage state legislators to take a look at current laws and consider ways to achieve this."
Currently, pharmacists with proper training can administer the influenza vaccine in all 50 states, while those in 44 states can administer the shingles vaccine. Some states also allow limited administration by pharmacists of vaccinations for diseases like hepatitis A and B. PCAN said expanding the types of vaccines that pharmacists can administer would provide greater access to vaccines and greater vaccination rates among the population.