The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is commending the Biden Administration for taking important action to expand American adults’ access to seasonal flu vaccinations throughout the 2021-2022 flu season.
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, extended authorities under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to include pharmacy technicians’ and pharmacy interns’ ability to provide adult flu vaccinations — a critical move that will help protect the American public from the dual threat of COVID-19 and seasonal flu, and equip pharmacies to continue to meet patients’ vaccination needs.
This PREP Act declaration, for which NACDS advocated, fills a void by empowering these pharmacy team members to provide influenza vaccinations for adults just as they already are allowed to provide them for those age 18 years old and younger by virtue of prior PREP Act declarations.
“NACDS thanks the Biden Administration, Secretary Becerra and the White House COVID-19 Response Team for their strong leadership and crucial action to help ensure that American adults can continue to receive a flu vaccine safely, conveniently and easily throughout the 2021-2022 flu season,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “The newly announced PREP Act declaration will go a long way in helping pharmacies plan and maximize staff to prepare for another critically important flu vaccination season, alongside the continued focus on providing COVID-19 vaccinations. We appreciate the Biden Administration’s understanding of the vital role that highly trained pharmacists and their pharmacy teams play in helping Americans get flu and other vaccinations conveniently and equitably, and we welcome this announcement — particularly as the nation enters National Immunization Awareness Month and Americans are reminded of vaccinations’ importance in protecting against severe disease.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, NACDS has served as a unifying voice for the membership, advising federal and state governments on the policies necessary for pharmacies to meet patients’ needs during emergencies and every day. Securing PREP Act declarations and clarifications has been critical to this work.
- Of note, NACDS was recently recognized by the American Society of Association Executives for its advocacy for policy changes at the state and federal levels that have further empowered both pharmacies’ COVID-19 response and patients’ access to some of the most trusted health and wellness access points and professionals.
The recognition underscores the heroic and ongoing work of NACDS members and pharmacy teams throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and in vaccinating America.