HHS on Thursday made moves to rapidly grow the vaccination workforce and increase the public’s access to COVID-19 vaccinations.
Under the amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act), all licensed and certified healthcare professionals are now authorized to prescribe, dispense and administer COVID-19 vaccines in any state or U.S. territory after completing the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine training, regardless of where they are licensed or certified.
“As vaccine supply is made more widely available over the coming months, having additional vaccinators at the ready will help providers and state health departments meet the demand for vaccine and protect their communities more quickly,” HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran said in a statement.
The Biden administration has said it wants to have at least 1 million vaccinations per day but has said it still could take months to give a shot to everyone who wants one.
The amendment also allows any physician, registered nurse or practical nurse whose license or certification expired in the past five years to prescribe, dispense or administer the COVID-19 vaccine in any U.S. state or territory, granted that their license or certification was in good standing before it become inactive. These healthcare workers are also required to take the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine training and will need to have an on-site observation by a practicing healthcare worker.