A healthcare worker giving a vaccine.

Pharmacy orgs to Biden: Use retired pharmacy professionals to roll out COVID-19 vaccine

Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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The American Pharmacists Association on Tuesday along with seven pharmacy organizations signed a joint letter asking the Biden administration to include recently retired pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in its campaign to vaccinate 100 million Americans against COVID-19 during the administration’s first 100 days.

Several times during the pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services affirmed that pharmacists have the authority during the pandemic to order and administer COVID vaccines and administer pediatric vaccinations across the country. The federal government also gave pharmacy technicians the authority to administer COVID vaccines under the supervision of a pharmacist.

Late last month, the Biden administration expanded the nation’s vaccinating workforce even further by extending vaccination authority to retired physicians and nurses who have held a license in good standing with any state during the last five years. “Every state allows pharmacists to administer vaccinations to patients, and pharmacists are well-trained to undertake this service,” the pharmacy groups said in its letter to the administration. 

Ilisa Bernstein, APhA senior vice president of pharmacy practice and government affairs, said, “Recently retired pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are ready, willing and able to contribute this effort. They have the training and the experience to help get the job done.”

The organizations cosigning the letter were: American Pharmacists Association; American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; American Society of Consultant Pharmacists; American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists; Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association; National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations; and National Community Pharmacists Association.