Childhood vaccinations may be available at your local pharmacy

August 28, 2020
childhood vaccinations at local pharmacy with Regence benefits

Most Regence health plans cover childhood vaccinations at 100%

By Regence

Vaccines are critical for protecting children against debilitating and potentially fatal diseases, such as measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend children older than six months receive a flu shot each year as well. Now it’s easier than ever to make sure your child is protected against infectious disease.

On Aug. 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a declaration temporarily allowing licensed pharmacists and licensed or registered pharmacy interns in all states to administer routine childhood vaccinations. Many states already allow pharmacists to give vaccinations to children. Regence health plans, except a few older legacy plans, cover childhood vaccinations at 100% and in-network pharmacies will bill Regence.

Next time you’re visiting your pharmacy, consider your options for immunizations. Most pharmacists can administer adult vaccinations for illnesses like the flu, pneumonia or shingles, and now they can give routine childhood immunizations to children ages 3 to 18 years.

HHS expanded access to childhood vaccinations to offer additional protection against preventable disease in light of a reduction in well-child visits due to COVID-19.

Pharmacies must adhere to the following requirements to administer vaccinations:

  • Vaccine must be approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Vaccination must be ordered and administered according to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) immunization schedules
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy interns must be licensed and:
    • Have completed a training program of at least 20 hours
    • Have a current certificate in basic CPR
    • Have completed a minimum of two hours of ACPE-approved, immunization-related continuing pharmacy education
    • Comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the relevant jurisdiction
    • Inform patients and their adult caregivers of the importance of a well-child visit with a pediatrician or other licensed primary care provider

For more information about the HHS decision to expand access to childhood vaccinations, read the HHS news release. Regence members can review their health plan benefits by logging in to regence.com, or by calling Regence Customer Service using the phone number on the back of their member ID card.

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