The following is a Letter to the Editor published in the Columbus Dispatch on Saturday, November 1. This letter was in reference to House Bill 394, which would allow pharmacists to administer vaccines to children down to age 7. The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics opposes this legislation.
Ohio’s vaccination rates are dangerously low — 49th in the country — but the problem is not access to vaccines, it’s parental refusal of vaccines.
Legislation allowing retail pharmacies to vaccinate children must include four components: requiring families to obtain a prescription from the physician to ensure continuity of care; requiring pharmacists to provide guidance about the vaccines to parents and children, including consultations on pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases for the HPV vaccine; requiring pharmacies to enter vaccinations in the state’s immunization registry; and requiring pharmacies to vaccinate participants in the Vaccines for Children Program. This federally funded program provides free vaccines to needy children, and half of Ohio children qualify.
MELISSA WERVEY ARNOLD
American Academy of Pediatrics