The Business Council strongly supports the provisions in S.2507 / A.3007, Part P 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 continue living through a pandemic caused by a novel virus, we are soberly reminded that vaccines are one of the most important tools for the protection of public health. We are thankful to finally have vaccinations and are all invested in getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. This job is easier with the ability to utilize the expertise of pharmacists in giving vaccinations to the public.
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.
Data continues to mount in New York that indicates that access to vaccination is not equal geographically and is unequal based on race. While we are certain that there are many factors at play, we know 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 to New York’s underserved communities will lead to continued growth in adult immunization. While preventing disease is a virtue in its own right, 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 budget provision is an example in that it expands access to underserved communities, promotes public health, saves healthcare dollars and increases business productivity. It is for these reasons that The Business Council strongly supports the provisions in S.2507 / A.3007, Part P and urges its inclusion in the Senate and the Assembly proposed budgets.