Pharmacists’ Certification Requirements For Immunization

Since 2008, certified pharmacists in New York have been authorized to administer vaccines. Today we begin a three part series that examines pharmacists’ certification requirements for immunization administration, immunization standards and procedures, as well as the State reporting requirements.

Since the enactment of the law, certified pharmacists have been able to administer immunizations against influenza or pneumoccocal disease to patients with or without patient specific order, as well as vaccines  to prevent herpes zoster with a patient specific order, to recipients of 18 years of age or older.

Pharmacists who wish to administer vaccines in New York must obtain a certificate demonstrating compliance with certain regulatory requirements and register with the NYS Department of Education, Office of the Professions. In addition to having an active NY license to practice pharmacy, the pharmacists must have also completed an approved immunization course within the past three years and have a current CPR or Basic Life Support certification. Virtual/on-line CPR courses will not satisfy this requirement.

Once these requirements have been satisfied, the pharmacist must complete an application and send it together with the application fee to the Department.

Out-of-state pharmacists seeking license in NY by reciprocity and considering immunization certification can meet the Department’s certification requirement by showing a certificate to administer immunization from another jurisdiction as well as demonstrating active administration of immunization by the applicant.

In Q&A guidance to pharmacists, the Department advised that a “pharmacist may administer influenza and pneumococcal immunizations based on a non-patient specific order from a physician or nurse practitioner located within the same county, or if a county has fewer than 75,000 residents, from a physician or nurse practitioner from an adjacent county.” For acute herpes zoster immunization administration, the pharmacist will need a patient specific prescription from a physician or nurse practitioner. The Department noted that the county where the prescriber practices is not relevant to patient-specific prescriptions for immunizations.

Pharmacists will be able to administer the intranasal or the intradermal form of the influenza vaccine. However, only individuals 18 years or older can be vaccinated under the rules.

If you have questions pertaining to pharmacists’ immunization certification, standards and procedures, or record keeping requirements or have other questions, you may contact us here.