Iowa Pharmacists Can Safely Begin Administering Routine Vaccinations
With the reopening of the state and the CDC's updated guidance, Iowa pharmacists and other healthcare providers can safely begin to administer regular vaccinations.With increased social distancing and limited interaction this spring, routine healthcare visits significantly decreased and fewer adult, adolescent and pediatric immunizations were administered. Now, with the reopening of the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) updated guidance, Iowa pharmacists and other healthcare providers can safely begin to administer regular vaccinations.
According to a report released on June 4 by Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health's Bureau of Immunization and TB, only 55,628 vaccines were administered in April of 2020 versus 128,646 vaccines administered in April of 2019. However, current Iowa law restricts pharmacists from providing many vaccinations to any person under the age of 18.
As stated by the CDC, bringing children up to date with routine immunizations is crucial in reducing the risk for vaccine-preventable diseases. A growing number of states have recognized the important role pharmacists play in providing adolescent immunizations. With a large decline of vaccinations in patients of all ages in recent months, increasing accessibility for immunizations is more important now than ever.
Iowa Pharmacy Association's Executive Vice President & CEO, Kate Gainer, stated “Iowa pharmacists have been providing care and front line services to patients in their communities throughout each step of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the CDC's updated guidance, pharmacists are ready to once again create a safe environment for the administration of routine vaccines, and a COVID-19 vaccine, when it becomes available.”