PREP Act Secretly Amended this Week to Allow Pharmacists to Vaccinate Children Ages 3-18

While our nation was busy spending a considerable amount of time discussing racial inequalities (as we should) or whether or not public schools and colleges were going to open or start online, or debating the upcoming national political conventions, our federal government, specifically, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued his 3rd amendment to The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP).

The Act was first enacted this year by a declaration from the Secretary of HHS on March 10, 2020. 

The 3rd amendment, issued on August 24th, 2020, allows pharmacists to administer vaccines to children ages 3-18.

This action by the Secretary of HHS allows certain licensed pharmacists to order and administer, and pharmacy interns (who are acting under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist) to administer, any vaccine that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends to persons ages 3 through 18.

This amendment was prompted by a report from the CDC in which it found a significant decrease in rates of routine childhood vaccinations.

In the last couple of years, there have been many proposed legislative bills introduced to allow pharmacists to administer childhood vaccines that did not go anywhere in state legislatures around the country.

Is this declaration a product of those legislative failures?

In the Vaccine Court currently, the number one petition filed for compensation is for shoulder injury as the result of a vaccination (SIRVA). Most of the injured persons (adults) received influenza or Tdap vaccinations from their local retail pharmacy such as Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid or Target. 

If these retail pharmacies cannot properly administer a vaccine to an adult, why would we allow this for children?

Most doctors lack any comprehensive training of what a vaccine injury is or adverse reactions in a child, let alone a pharmacist receiving this type of training.

This has all the makings for a disaster.