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Pharmacists Can Give Childhood Shots, U.S. Officials Say

8/20/2020

Pharmacists in all 50 states are now allowed to give childhood vaccinations under a new directive aimed at preventing future outbreaks of measles and other preventable diseases.

Alex Azar, the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, took the step using emergency powers he has during the U.S. coronavirus epidemic, which was declared a public health emergency. The directive announced Wednesday will temporarily preempt restrictions in 22 states starting this fall.  The move is designed to help prevent vaccination rates from falling during the pandemic, Azar said.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that orders for childhood vaccines from doctors’ offices plummeted in late March and early April as their offices closed or saw fewer patients, raising concerns that vaccination rates would fall.  But a survey of pediatricians in May suggested that most offices were open and able to give recommended shots, and more than half were able to take on new patients if needed. Another CDC report from late last month noted New York City saw a rebound in kids getting their shots. National 2020 numbers from the agency are not expected for another year.



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