Volunteers Meet Virtually with Lawmakers to Support Legislation Allowing Pharmacists to Administer All CDC Recommended Vaccines

Urge support of S.4807/A.6476 to expand access to immunizations

May 10, 2021

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Business Council of New York State, Inc., Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY, Community Pharmacy Association of New York State, Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York, Food Industry Alliance of NYS, Inc., Healthcare Distribution Alliance, Hispanic Health Network, HPV Alliance, Infusion Access Foundation, Latino Commission on AIDS,  Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, Inc., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mended Hearts, Inc., Mental Health Association in New York State, NAACP, NYS Conference, National Infusion Center Association, New York Oncology Hematology, New York State Association of County Health Officials, New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists, New York State Public Health Association, Nurse Practitioner Association New York State, Northeast Kidney Foundation, NYU Langone Health, Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Treatment Action Group (TAG)

ALBANY, NY – Volunteers from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) along with supporters of organizations including NAACP New York State Conference, New York State Association of County Health Organizations,  New York Public Health Association and more than 20 others are gathering virtually today to urge lawmakers in Albany to pass legislation this session that will enable pharmacists in the state to administer all vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to anyone over the age of 18.  Currently, state law allows for the administration of some vaccines.   S. 4807 proposed by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and A.6476 proposed by Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman will reduce confusion and help elevate vaccination rates across the state.

“The HPV vaccine is safe, effective, and can help prevent six types of cancer.  Yet New York is one of just two states that do not allow pharmacists to administer the HPV vaccine,” said Julie Hart, ACS CAN senior New York government relations director.  “More than 90% of the nation’s population live within two miles of a community pharmacy and over 95% live within five miles. Expanding access will assist countless New Yorkers and remove barriers to lifesaving vaccinations.”

“COVID-19 has shone a light on the health disparities that so many in communities of color live with each day,” said Lorraine Braithwaite-Harte, Health Chair, NAACP, New York State Conference. “Anything we can do to expand access to vaccines, for COVID, and for all preventable diseases is a win for underserved communities across New York.”

"New Yorkers understand that we couldn't have made progress towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic without vaccinations provided by trained pharmacists and nurse practitioners,” said Annette Gaudino, director of policy strategy of the Treatment Action Group. “These professionals met the challenge of two dose regimes, while serving those most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 illness. Now is the time to build on this experience and the systems created this past year to safely expand vaccine access, especially to those who would benefit most from expanded hours at neighborhood locations: people who use drugs and individuals experiencing homelessness." 

“Expanding access to critical immunizations is essential for keeping New Yorkers safe,” Dr. Gus Birkhead, policy and advocacy chair for the New York State Public Health Association said.  “As the current COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, pharmacists are a critical part of the vaccine delivery system and have been instrumental in improving access to COVID-19 vaccines.  It’s time for New York to allow pharmacists to administer all CDC-recommended vaccines for adults to improve access for all New Yorkers.”  

“Making sure CDC authorized vaccines are reaching into every community is one of the most critical priorities before us as we work to address health inequity and avoid preventable deaths. Mobilizing our national network of pharmacists — who have extensive training in vaccination and are already administering some immunizations in communities big and small — is a smart and strategic solution for removing barriers to life-saving vaccinations like the HPV vaccine, which can help prevent six types of cancer,” says Steven J. Gerfin, PharmD, MS, MBA, DPLA, Executive Director of Pharmacy Operations at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y.



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