Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Can A Pharmacy Tech Give Flu Shots

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Pharmacy Technicians Interns Can Administer Seasonal Flu Vaccines

Pharmacy Students Help Provide Free Flu Shots At Stock Show

NCPA August 4, 2021

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra issued an amendment to the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, extending PREP Act coverage to pharmacy technicians and interns with proper training to administer seasonal flu vaccines to adults. As of Aug. 4, qualified pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns can now administer seasonal influenza vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization to persons aged 19 and older.

Pharmacists Are The Vaccine Experts

Fear and misinformation on social media is causing a resurgence in what were once age-old diseases. When parents in our communities don’t know which vaccines to get, or even if they’re safe, pharmacists fill a void that social media misinformation never canbecause our patients are our neighbors.

We are a strong force, spread throughout Texas and the nation, ready to help administer vaccines, dispense medications, answer questions, and encourage people on their health care journey. Now, more than ever, our voice can make a difference.Have those life-saving discussions about vaccination with your patients.

Can I Get Free Or Low

Whether you go to a pharmacy, your doctors office, or an urgent care clinic, vaccines can be pricey if you dont have insurance. That doesnt mean you have to give up essential vaccinations.

There are several ways you and your family can get free or low-cost vaccines.

  • The Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines at no cost for children under age 19 who qualify for Medicaid, dont have insurance, cant cover out-of-pocket insurance costs, or are Native American or an Alaskan Native.
  • Federally funded health centers provide vaccinations, and the cost may vary based on your income. You can search for local health centers on the Health Resources and Services Administration website.
  • Your states health department can also provide information on getting free or low-cost vaccines. The CDC offers on online directory of state health departments.
  • Check to see if local community centers, schools, or places of worship are offering vaccinations.

Read Also: Benefits Of Flu Vaccine In Elderly

Is It Safe To Get Vaccinated At A Drug Store

Drug stores are an excellent place to be vaccinated, Schaffner says.

Today, pharmacists are well-trained in vaccines and their indications, as well as safety protocols and inoculation technique, he explains.

In the era of COVID-19, pharmacies are also taking extra safety precautions: People coming in to be vaccinated are required to answer COVID-19 screening questions, wear masks, and maintain physical distancing at immunization sites, while pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurse practitioners administering vaccines must wear masks and gloves.

New Flu Service Specification Published


On 28 August 2020, NHS England published an updated service specification for the Community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination advanced service and patient group directions, which will come into effect on 1 September 2020. The latest version of the specification will mean:

  • Contractors no longer need to obtain written consent from each patient prior to vaccination, although they must record that verbal consent was obtained
  • Contractors no longer need to notify regional teams prior to undertaking vaccinations off-site
  • Pharmacists no longer need to notify a patients GP in advance of vaccinating them in their home or care home
  • Pharmacists are now able to vaccinate off-site within professional standards. This includes being able to vaccinate care home staff within the care home
  • Pharmacists are now able to vaccinate patients in any appropriate space within the pharmacy. However, a consultation room is still required so that the patient can still have their vaccination in the consultation room if they request it
  • Patient cohorts have been updated to reflect the content of the 2020/2021 annual flu letter

Also Check: Dog Flu Vaccine Side Effects

Eighth Amendement To Declaration Under The Public Readiness And Emergency Preparedness Act

On August 4, 2021, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services issued the Eighth Amendment to Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. As you may recall, a previous Amendment authorized certain pharmacy personnel to administer certain vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Eight Amendment expand the scope of authority for qualified pharmacy technicians to administer seasonal influenza vaccines to adults within the state where they are authorized to practice and for interns to administer seasonal influenza vaccines to adults consistent with other terms and conditions of the Declaration.

Thus, the Declaration currently covers:

State-licensed pharmacist who orders and administers, and pharmacy interns and qualified pharmacy technicians who administer , vaccines that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends to persons ages three through 18 according to ACIPs standard immunization schedule or seasonal influenza vaccine administered by qualified pharmacy technicians and interns that the ACIP recommends to persons aged 19 and older according to ACIPs standard immunization schedule or FDA authorized or FDA licensed COVID -19 vaccines to persons ages three or older. Such State-licensed pharmacists and the State-licensed or registered interns or technicians under their supervision are qualified persons only if certain requirements contained in the Amended Declaration are met.

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Technician Vs Pharmacist Liability

In most states, including my home state of Florida, technicians can give vaccines but only under the supervision of a pharmacist. As a pharmacist, this gives you both the right and responsibility to observe and ensure technicians vaccinating in your facility are vaccinating correctly and safely.

Note, though, that financial liability directed toward a healthcare provider for administering vaccines is somewhat limited, due to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or VICP. Established in 1986, and covering vaccine-related injuries since 1988, the program provides a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system.

Depending on the vaccine, this includes liability for vaccine reactions, shoulder injuries related to administration, and even reactivation of the disease in immunodeficient patients who receive live vaccines. There are several important things to note about liability and the VICP:

Also Check: Does Target Pharmacy Do Flu Shots

Can Kids Get Vaccinated At A Pharmacy

Yes, kids can now get many of their shots at pharmacies and drug stores in all 50 states.

Thanks to a 2020 ruling by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , all pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians in the United States can administer the flu, as well as many other vaccines, to anyone age 3 and up.

Minimum ages for vaccines, however, are regulated by state law, so the cutoff for certain vaccines may be higher than age 3 at pharmacies in your area.

Pharmacies can also give the COVID-19 shot to children, but currently only those age 12 and up are eligible.

Should Pharmacy Technicians Administer

Health Fair 11 at the Fair: Cub Pharmacy gives flu shots

Atkinson et al8 noted that many secondary concerns centered around the question should pharmacy technicians administer immunizations? This question is more inherently political in nature and perhaps beyond the purview of a board of pharmacy tasked solely with ensuring the safety of pharmacy services provided to the public. Nonetheless, this question may be on the mind of some regulators, and reviewing the evidence over the past 5 years is likely of benefit.

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Steer Your Responses Away From Hot Button Issues

After the latest measles outbreak and the coronavirus pandemic, vaccinations have become a popularand often politicizedtopic of conversation.

Anyone who is close to someone who holds strong and opposite political views or strong religious beliefs that are exclusive of different practicesor even people who think seat belt laws are dumbknows that differences can escalate quickly. Its a similar situation with individuals who dont believe in vaccination, says Jeanette Y. Wick, assistant director of the Office of Pharmacy Professional Development at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. Arguing is fruitless and unwise. Presenting facts in a manner that is cool and collected sometimes helps. Repeating the factsand making sure the facts are airtightis the best you can do.

Mandated vaccination is a sensitive issue for some people who view required immunizations as an infringement on their rights as citizens or parents. Though the vaccine-autism connection has been thoroughly debunked, many people dont trust the science. There are lots of conspiracy theories about how Big Pharma only encourages immunizations to profit off vaccines.

While you have strong opinions of your own, and know the facts about these issues, its best to sidestep these topics to avoid a blow-up.

Can I Get More Than One Vaccine During The Same Visit

If you need more than one vaccine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you should get them all in one visit, or space them out.

Its very common to bundle immunizations for children, and there are many cases where adults may get two vaccines at the same time.

Shingrix, which is recommended to prevent shingles in adults 50 and older, can be given during the same appointment as a flu shot, according to the CDC.

The agency has also given the green light for people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster shot , and the flu shot during the same visit.

In fact, the CDC says that the COVID-19 vaccine can be given without regard to the timing of any other vaccine.

Read Also: At What Age Are Flu Shots Given

Video Seriesvaccines: The Truth Uncovered

Fall 2020

In this four part series, Vaccines: The Truth Uncovered, listen in on a groundbreaking conversation between Texas Pharmacy Association CEO Debbie Garza and a leading vaccine scientist, Dr. Leonard Friedland, as they cover issues ranging from the development of a COVID-19 vaccine to addressing vaccine hesitancy in our society.

This series is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts!

Pharmacy Technicians Can Administer Flu Vaccine Under National Protocol For England



Pharmacy technicians will be permitted to administer flu vaccines in England during the 2021/2022 flu season, The Pharmaceutical Journal has learned.

The national protocol for administration of inactivated influenza vaccine, , sets out procedures for flu vaccination for this winters flu season.

The protocol states that the clinical superviser, who takes overall responsibility for delivery of the protocol, must be a registered doctor, nurse or pharmacist trained and competent in all aspects of the protocol.

However, on 7 September 2021, PHE confirmed to The Pharmaceutical Journal that pharmacy technicians can now prepare and administer the flu vaccine under the protocol. This follows a national protocol for COVID-19 vaccinations, published in December 2020, under which pharmacy technicians are able to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

There are parts of the flu vaccine protocol that technicians cannot perform assessment of the person being vaccinated, obtaining informed consent and providing advice which must be done by a pharmacist, doctor or nurse.

Victoria Steele, superintendent pharmacist at LloydsPharmacy, said the multiple welcomed the change in protocol to allow pharmacy technicians to deliver vaccinations within a pharmacy setting.

We are reviewing the guidance and will be considering how best we use our pharmacy teams to deliver our flu services, she said.

She went on to describe it as a missed opportunity at a time of need.

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Debunking Vaccination Myth That ‘natural Is Better’

When it comes to building our children’s immunity against diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella, some parents think that allowing their children to actually catch a serious disease and get sick builds a stronger immunity against the disease than having them vaccinated. The dangers of this misaligned approach can lead to serious or even fatal consequences. Not only is vaccinating your children safer, it has far greater benefits.

As a follow-up to the recent action by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy issued guidance clarifying that pharmacists and pharmacist-interns acting under the supervision of a pharmacist are allowed to order and administer immunizations to children 3-18 years of age as authorized by the third amendment to the PREP Act under certain conditions.

The Texas Pharmacy Association encourages parents to contact their local pharmacist and get up to speed on their family’s vaccination schedule to ensure that our children remain free of vaccine-preventable diseases.

How Pharmacy Technicians Can Be Certified To Administer Immunizations In 2020

Jessica Langley, MSSupplements

Pharmacy technicians are garnering support from key industry leaders as they rally for more active roles and responsibility.


It is an exciting time to be a pharmacy technician, and in states where technicianadministered immunization is allowed, there are several points to consider. Some of these key points to keep in mind include the following:


JESSICA LANGLEY, MS, is the executive director of education and advocacy at the National Healthcareer Association in Leawood, Kansas.


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Pharmacy Techs Can Now Administer Flu Shots

Under HHS authorization trained pharmacy technicians can administer COVID-19 vaccines and ACIP recommended childhood vaccines.

And now, through the 8th amendment issued by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, pharmacy techs can also administer seasonal influenza vaccines as recommended by ACIP.

Pharmacy techs must complete ACPE accredited training and operate under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist who is also trained according to state guidelines.

GPhA is offering the accredited training! Pharmacy techs will complete 3 hours of home-study and then attend the 3-hour live training on Saturday, October 16, 2021, in Sandy Springs. Space is limited so dont wait!

Ask What Their Concerns Are And Explain The Facts

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The flu vaccine has a great track record. Every year millions of people receive the vaccine, and over the last 50, hundreds of millions have received the vaccine worldwide, explains Dr. Leal. There is extensive research that supports the safety of flu vaccines.

Find out what your patient knows, so you can better respond to their level of understanding. Many anti-flu shot concerns are not fact-based. The most common misconceptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are:

  • The flu vaccine will give me the flu.
  • I dont need the flu vaccine every year.
  • If Im pregnant, or have another health condition, I shouldnt get the flu shot.
  • The flu vaccine doesnt work.
  • I might have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
  • If Im not vaccinated by October, its too late.

Once you know whats worrying your customers, ask if you can share some information with them. Walk them through how the vaccine works, the potential flu shot benefits, and what they dont need to worry about.

For example, Dr. Leal suggests saying: While flu shot effectiveness can vary year to year, it is worth getting the vaccine yearly. Even if you still get the flu after being vaccinated, it can shorten the duration and the severity of the infection.

When youve finished your explanation, ask if they have any additional questions, or what other concerns they might have. These little techniques can help keep things conversational rather than sounding like youre giving a lecture.

Read Also: How Long Should You Wait Between Flu Shots

Protecting Yourself From Liability

While it might still be unclear who would be ultimately liable for an incorrectly administered vaccine, there are several steps you can take now to improve vaccine safety and reduce liability in your pharmacy.

A good first step would be to observe each new technician give a vaccine before allowing them to do so independently. Its also a good idea to ensure their full understanding of other aspects of vaccine administration, including vaccine formulations , preventing shoulder injuries when giving vaccines, common preventable errors, proper storage and handling, and deciding when patients should be referred to the pharmacist .

For companies, establishing an initial vaccine orientation program for technicians to check skills and knowledge after their formal vaccine training course, and then conducting periodic assessments will ensure consistency and provide clear documentation that the technicians were trained and supervised. Just like with sterile compounding where facilities require training, orientation, competency testing, and media-fill testing prior to being able to work independently, regardless of prior experience a vaccine orientation program can make everyone feel confident in the abilities of vaccinators at the site.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Vaccinated At A Pharmacy

Pharmacies that offer immunizations will file with your insurance plan. Some private insurers cover 100 percent of vaccination costs others require you to pay a deductible or copay.

Medicare fully covers the flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis B vaccines under Part B. If you have Medicare Part D , vaccinations are treated like prescription drugs with copays and deductibles.

The COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone living in the United States, regardless of whether you have insurance or are U.S. citizen, says the CDC.

Not all pharmacies charge the same amount for vaccinations, so if youll be paying out-of-pocket, its a good idea to shop around.

And dont rule out warehouse clubs just because you are not a member. Costcos pharmacies are open to nonmembers where required by state law, and membership is not required to get vaccinations at Sams Club.

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Image Of Pharmacy Profession

Atkinson et al8 noted an expressed concern that immunizations are one of the few areas where pharmacists are able to demonstrate the expanded role of pharmacist and delegating this task to technicians may forfeit this positive image.

This, too, does not seem to have manifested. First, patients have reported support for pharmacy technicians administering immunizations and the authors did not note any perceived reduction in pharmacist image. McKeirnan and Kaur43 interviewed 46 patients at chain community pharmacies about their perceptions of technicians administering immunizations. Patients reported support for technicians in this role and noted several key themes: technicians would increase accessibility and decrease waiting time, ensuring proper training would improve patient comfort, and technician immunizers would balance the workload on the pharmacy team. Not all patients reported their willingness to receive immunizations by technicians, but this also holds true with pharmacists because, for example, only one-third of influenza vaccines were provided by pharmacists in a recent season.43,44 Although this is limited evidence, additional studies after the pandemic will be beneficial given the volume of immunizations now administered by technicians.

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