New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation S.4807-A/A.6476 which expands the immunizations that licensed pharmacists can administer to patients who are 18 years or older.
Under the new law, pharmacists will be able to administer vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for hepatitis A and B, human papillomavirus, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. The new law also makes permanent the ability for licensed pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Immunizations are the best tool at our disposal for protecting public health and we must implement every sensible measure to make vaccines widely available," Governor Hochul said. "With this new law, we are expanding the locations where New Yorkers can go to get vaccines to protect their own health - and the health of their communities."
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Studies show that pharmacist-provided immunizations increase overall immunization rates. Under current law, pharmacists in New York have been able to administer immunizations for influenza to adults and children, and for COVID-19, pneumococcal, acute herpes zoster, meningococcal, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis disease, as well as medications required for emergency treatment of anaphylaxis, to adults. The new law expands the list of immunizations that pharmacists can provide to adults, and requires pharmacists to report the immunizations to the State Department of Health.
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, "I want to thank Governor Hochul for signing this important legislation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw how low-income and rural communities struggled to get access to critical health care services. Studies have shown that people intuitively trust their local pharmacist. By allowing pharmacists to administer all vaccines approved by the CDC we will reduce morbidity and mortality rates and save lives in our most medically underserved communities."
Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman said, "Access to healthcare should be a basic human right and COVID-19 has brought to light the many inequities in our healthcare system. In many of our Black and brown communities, local pharmacists are the immediate and most accessible route to care. This legislation is a step in the right direction towards addressing this social justice issue and creating equity for all. I'd like to acknowledge and thank Speaker Heastie and all the advocates who ensured the passage of this legislation."