29 Mar Pennsylvania Expands List of Health Care Professionals That May Administer COVID-19 Vaccines – INCLUDES VETERINARIANS5
Various measures have been taken to boost the number of health care professionals available to administer COVID-19 vaccines. This includes a Declaration made by the former U.S. Acting Secretary of HHS on March 10, 2020, under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19 (PREP Act). That Declaration has since been amended several times.
The current Acting HHS Secretary anticipates that significantly more vaccines will be available to the public in spring and summer 2021 and wants to ensure that states have the greatest flexibility in mobilizing the workforce necessary to engage in what he describes as “the largest vaccination effort in our nation’s history.” As a result, an Amendment to the PREP Act Declaration was issued on March 12, 2021.
The primary purpose of this Amendment was to add additional categories of “qualified persons” covered under the PREP Act to expand the pool of trained professionals available to administer vaccines.
The Amendment identifies several types of actively licensed practitioners, recently retired professionals, and students in health care training programs, who − subject to appropriate training, supervision and certain other specified requirements − may participate in COVID-19 vaccination programs.
In Pennsylvania, this adds a number of professions that would not otherwise be able to administer COVID vaccines, including the following under the State Board of Medicine, the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, the State Board of Dentistry, the State Board of Podiatry, and the State Board of Veterinary Medicine:
- Certified Nurse Midwives
- Dental students
- Optometry students
- Physician Assistants
- Physician Assistant students
- Podiatry students
- Respiratory Therapists
- Respiratory Therapy students
- Veterinary students
To administer COVID-19 vaccines and be covered as “qualified persons” under the COVID-19 PREP Act Declaration, those listed above must meet the following training, supervision, and other requirements.