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Missouri issues new rule allowing pharmacy technicians to administer coronavirus vaccine

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri issued an emergency rule change allowing pharmacy technicians to administer COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday.

Under the current rule, pharmacists could only delegate the administration of the vaccine to qualified interns. The amendment will allow certified technicians to help meet the demand under pharmacist supervision as Missouri enters the first phase of distribution.

“Absent an emergency amendment, Missouri pharmacies would be prohibited from delegating medication administration to pharmacy technicians under the rule, which will detrimentally impact the public safety, health, and welfare of Missouri citizens,” the rule change, published by the Secretary of State’s Office, read. “As a result, the Missouri State Board of Pharmacy finds there is an immediate danger to the public health, safety, and/or welfare and a compelling governmental interest that requires this emergency action.”

The same rule was authorized on the federal level by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to the document. 

The amended rule would also require patients to be informed of their entry into the state’s ShowMeVax database within two weeks of vaccination.  

Representatives for the Missouri Pharmacists Association and the State Board of Pharmacy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Missouri received its first 50,000 dose shipment of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine last week. Moderna’s vaccine began arriving this week, with 100,000 doses expected in the initial batch.

CVS and Walgreens are working with the federal government to administer vaccinations in long term care facilities, with CVS expected to begin administering the vaccine in more than 600 Missouri facilities next week. The rule change will allow the companies to reach a wider spread of patients when they gear up for vaccinations.

According to Gov. Mike Parson, 285 facilities across the state were approved to administer the vaccines as of Tuesday.

Missouri is in the first phase of its vaccine distribution plan. The first round is going to health care facilities, starting with long term care facility staff and other health care workers. As availability increases, the state intends to spread its focus to the elderly and those at higher risk of serious complications due to preexisting health conditions. 

The vaccine will be distributed to schools and “critical businesses” at the same time, with the final phase of distribution opening access to the general public.