ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association issued the following statement on behalf of CEO B. Douglas Hoey in response to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidance authorizing pharmacists to order and administer coronavirus vaccinations to persons ages 3 or older, when available:
“The country needs pharmacists to be a major player in the administration of coronavirus vaccines. NCPA appreciates steps the Trump administration is taking to make sure that pharmacies can administer these immunizations when they come to market. As with coronavirus testing, ensuring access to vaccines in community pharmacies rather than solely in national chains will be critical if NCPA members are to help Operation Warp Speed meet its goal of administering 300 million doses nationwide. Independent pharmacy is ready and eager to partner in the administration of the vaccines.”
A recent NCPA study found that 86% of community pharmacists say they plan to offer the COVID-19 vaccines when they hit the marketplace, key in ensuring that the vaccine reaches the rural and medically underserved communities relying on the services of these independent pharmacies. This HHS authorization preempts and overrides any state and local laws that prohibit qualified pharmacists from ordering and administering COVID-19 vaccines.