HHS Guidance on Vaccine Administration
and COVID-19 Testing
On October 21, 2020, the Trump administration released additional guidance on expanding access to vaccines and COVID-19 tests. The Unites States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued new information on the PREP act acknowledging enhanced roles for pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns in the administration of childhood and COVID-19 vaccines as well as COVID-19 testing. On October 2, 2020, we shared with the membership the Florida Surgeon General’s order essentially clarifying that pharmacists licensed under F.S. 465 and are trained could immunize children aged 3 through 18.
What is interesting with the HHS order is that it now creates a pathway for trained pharmacy interns and technicians to not only administer vaccines to children but also allows qualified pharmacy technicians and state authorized pharmacy interns to administer COVID-19 tests including serology tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
It is very important that involvement in these services by technicians, pharmacy interns as well a pharmacists be consistent with the guidance. Florida laws currently do not have authority for technicians to administer vaccines or perform tests however we understand that the HHS guidance preempts state laws. We believe that the current emergency order from Surgeon General Rivkees (DOH No. 20-014) continues in the spirit of the guidance issued by HHS. It is clear that before technicians administer vaccines under this HHS guidance that at a minimum a training program must be completed and that there must be evidence of a current CPR certification.
With Kindest Regards,
Michael A. Jackson, BPharm, CPh
Florida Pharmacy Association, Executive Vice President & CEO