Law Extends Current Program Which Has Helped Boost State’s Immunization Rates and Improve Access to Flu & Pneumonia Vaccines
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved legislation he sponsored to ensure that pharmacists can continue administering flu and pneumonia shots. Senator Fuschillo’s legislation extends a highly successful law which has boosted the state’s immunization rates and enabled hundreds of thousands of people to get vaccinated by trained pharmacists.
“Allowing pharmacists to give flu and pneumonia vaccines has helped improve public health and raise the state’s immunization rates. Pharmacists have vaccinated hundreds of thousands of individuals and made it easier and more convenient to get flu and pneumonia shots. Extending this program will build on those successes by ensuring that pharmacists can continue administering these vaccines,” said Senator Fuschillo.
Under a 2008 law authored by Senator Fuschillo, pharmacists were allowed to administer adult flu and pneumonia vaccines after receiving proper training and certification from the State’s Department of Education. The law has greatly improved access to these vaccines. Approximately 750,000 vaccinations have been administered by 5,000 pharmacists since the law’s implementation, according the Chain Pharmacy Association of New York State. In addition, the state’s immunization rate has risen by 2.9 percent, with significant gains among minorities (8% for African-Americans, 8.6% for Hispanics, and over 13% for other ethnicities).
The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, which strongly supported the legislation, stated in a memo that the law is needed so that “recent improvements in the state’s adult immunization rates can be maintained and expanded.”