Indiana pharmacists approved to administer a breadth of vaccines

The Indiana Pharmacists Alliance announced on Wednesday that pharmacists in Indiana will be able to administer a breadth of vaccines with a physician's approval beginning July 1.

Larry Sage, executive vice president of the IPA, announced pharmacists will be able to administer vaccines for pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria, acellular petrussis, HPV infections and meningitis. Pharmacists are currently authorized to administer the flu vaccine with a physician's approval.

"We really look at this as a public health service," Sage said. "The goal is to make immunizations more available, and pharmacists are probably the most available public health care provider you can find."

Indiana pharmacists must undergo immunization training before being authorized to administer the vaccines. The state currently has more than 2,700 pharmacists trained to administer the shots, with several hundred taking additional courses for the authorization annually.

New state law integrates the immunization training into pharmacy school curiculums. The new law also allows for pharmacy students to administer vaccines under direct supervision of a professional. Some pharmacists have expressed excitement about this ability, as many believe it is important to gain this experience prior to practicing independently.

The new law will require lawmakers to also study the adverse effects of immunizations. The initiative was implemented to make vaccines more widely available and cheaper for the public.