The Business Council strongly supports the provisions in S.7507 / A.9507 (Health Mental Hygiene Budget), Part I which would expand the types of vaccines that pharmacists and certified nurse practitioners can administer to adults to include all CDC‐recommended vaccines. This bill aligns New York with the laws of 48 other states where pharmacists can administer all CDC-adult recommended vaccines.
As we currently are making preparations for the spread of another novel virus that has the potential to become a pandemic, we are soberly reminded that vaccines are one of the most important tools for the protection of public health. The New York Department of Health reports that pharmacists gave almost 2 million vaccines in 2018‐19, up from nearly 1.6 million in the prior year. It makes sense that when we make it more convenient for New Yorkers to receive immunizations, they will do just that.
There are many adults who do not regularly visit a primary care physician but are frequently in and out of pharmacies, putting them in direct contact with over 14,000 licensed pharmacists, ready to administer immunizations. Such expanded access will lead to continued growth in adult immunization. Preventing disease is virtue in its own right, but it also serves to save significant money in the treatment of illnesses down the road. Employers, as premium payers, certainly appreciate the savings but also recognize the benefits of losing less productivity to illness as well.
Too infrequently in policymaking do we come across a piece of legislation that is simply a win-win. This bill is an example in that it promotes public health and saves healthcare dollars and business productivity. It is for these reasons that The Business Council strongly supports the provisions in S.7507 / A.9507 (Health Mental Hygiene Budget), Part I and urges its passage by the Senate and the Assembly.