THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

PPA urges Pennsylvania legislators to sign immunization expansion law

The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association announced on Thursday that physicians throughout the state of Pennsylvania are urging legislators to support a bill that would expand pharmacist-provided immunizations to patients over the age of seven.

Letters sent by physicians in support of House Bill 776 accompanied letters to support the bill from the seven Pennsylvania Schools of Pharmacy. The bill would expand on the increase in the availability of pharmacist-provided vaccines enabled by the amendment to the Pharmacy Act.

"Pennsylvania currently ranks 16th in the nation in terms of vaccinating our children against preventable illnesses and diseases - there is definitely room for improvement there," Robert Frankil, the president of the PPA, said. "We are very pleased to be working with Pennsylvania physicians to support legislation that would enable us to make progress in this area and help keep our state healthy. We encourage legislators to support this important piece of legislation."

The letters said that 39 other states have already passed immunization expansion bills to let pharmacists with immunization credentials provide immunizations to individuals under the age of 18. Passing HB 776 could allow the state to put itself on par with the other states and build on its previous efforts to prevent disease.

"Expanding the types of vaccines that can be administered by pharmacists would provide greater access to vaccines and a greater vaccination rates among the population," one letter said. "There are more than 2,500 licensed pharmacists throughout the state who are ready and able to increase vaccination rates - with many in medically underserved areas and health provider shortage areas where oftentimes the local pharmacist is the most accessible and affordable health care provider."

The PPA is a professional membership organization that consists of more than 2,000 pharmacists and pharmacy students throughout the state of Pennsylvania.