Albertsons trains first pharmacy tech in nation to administer immunization


BOISE, Idaho — An Albertsons pharmacy technician has become the first in the nation to administer an immunization to a patient. The new ability for the technician is the product of new law in Idaho brought about by a partnership between Albertsons and Washington State University College of Pharmacy, who worked together to develop the first pilot program to train pharmacy technicians to provide immunizations with permission from the Idaho board of pharmacy.

The pilot, which began in December 2016, saw WSU working with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the Idaho Board of Pharmacy. Albertsons got involved and provided a grant to develop and deliver the four-hour professional education to pharmacists in Boise, Idaho and Spokane, Wash.

“Pharmacy technicians are integral to our business,” Alberstons SVP pharmacy, health and wellness Mark Panzer said. “We are proud to embrace the changing role of pharmacy technicians and partner with WSU to expand access to health services in Idaho. We couldn't be prouder than when our very own Samantha Thompson, a Safeway Pharmacy Technician in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, became the first pharmacy technician in the country to administer an immunization.”

In March, Idaho passed the first law in the United States allowing pharmacy technicians to undergo the pharmacy board-approved training for administering immunizations to pharmacy patients.

"WSU faculty colleagues Kyle Frazier, Linda Garrelts-MacLean, and I trained 25 Albertsons and Safeway technicians and are collecting data on how many immunizations they give between December 2016 and May 2017," said Kimberly McKeirnan, Clinical Assistant Professor, WSU College of Pharmacy. "The data collected will be used to show how expanding the number of health professionals trained to immunize patients can increase immunization rates, better utilize the skills of pharmacy technicians, and ease the time burden on pharmacists."

Albertsons said more training is currently planned for other technicians in Idaho interested in pursuing the new responsibility.

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