March 14, 2022

Bipartisan Legislation, Co-Sponsored by Senator Haskell, Would Permit Pharmacists to Administer Flu Vaccines to Children 12+

Last week, legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) that would allow pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children 12 years of age or older with parental or guardian consent passed the Public Health Committee with bipartisan support. The legislation would provide increased access to flu vaccines for adolescents, who are certainly susceptible to the virus – in the 2017-18 flu season, three children in Connecticut died from flu-related complications – and ease stresses on our medical system.

“This legislation makes a small, but important, change to current state law, said Sen. Haskell. “By allowing for children aged 12 and up to receive flu vaccines from pharmacists, we are tearing down a barrier that constituents have told me delays the vaccination of their family. This is especially important for adolescents who live in areas with limited access to healthcare. I want to thank the Public Health Committee’s leadership for passing this simple change that gets Connecticut in line with federal standards and protects the health of young people.”

House Bill 5119, “An Act Permitting Pharmacists To Administer The Influenza Vaccine To Children Twelve Years Of Age And Older,” allows wider availability of vaccine distribution.

According to testimony submitted by Connecticut’s Public Health Department Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD, allowing wider access to vaccination through pharmacies will result in greater access to vaccinations for the adolescent age group; this is especially important for adolescents who do not regularly see primary care providers, the main providers of vaccination for youth. Further, the change would allow pharmacists to participate in the Connecticut Vaccine Program, which would ensure no child would be turned away from vaccination, and ease collection of vaccination records through tracking doses in the state’s immunization information system.