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HHS PREP Act and APhA's 20-hour Immunization Program
Under the Authority granted to it by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has authorized pharmacists to order and administer (and interns to administer) COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved or licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to all individuals age 3 or older. Pharmacist interns must do so while acting under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist. Additionally, HHS has authorized licensed pharmacists (and interns) to provide all vaccines recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and approved or licensed by the FDA, to all children ages 3 to 18 during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of state laws and regulations to the contrary.
Both of these authorizations by HHS require that pharmacists (and interns) complete a practical training program of at least 20 hours that is approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). This training program must include hands-on injection technique, clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of vaccines, and the recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines.
The APhA Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program provides 20 hours of training, including hand-on injection technique, clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of vaccines, and the recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines. The APhA Pharmacy-Based immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program meets the 20 hour training requirement contained in the two HHS authorizations.