Childhood vaccinations may be available at your local pharmacy

By Regence
August 09, 2023
childhood vaccines at pharmacy

Most Regence health plans cover childhood vaccinations at 100%

As back-to-school season approaches, parents can find themselves with a lengthy to-do list to prepare their child for the new year. One of these important tasks is ensuring their child is up to date on required immunizations. If you have a child who is entering school for the first time or transitioning to middle or high school, check in with your school district as new immunization requirements may apply. While the process might seem overwhelming, the convenience of getting back-to-school vaccines from a pharmacy can make this task more manageable.

Medical experts agree vaccines are safe and effective

Vaccines are critical for protecting children against debilitating and potentially fatal diseases, such as measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough. Ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, RSV and the season flu highlight the importance of vaccination in protecting children’s health and preventing the spread of infectious diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children older than six months receive a flu shot as well as an updated COVID-19 vaccination to stay up to date. Regence health plans cover 100% of most immunizations as a preventive benefit.

Pharmacies can be a convenient option

Many people may not be fully aware of the training required for a pharmacist to administer vaccines to children as well as adults. Pharmacies must meet specific requirements to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the immunization process:

  • 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

We’re here to help

Getting routine vaccinations at a local pharmacy doesn’t replace a trip to a child’s doctor. Well-child appointments are essential for monitoring milestones, performing physical exams and other health screenings. To find a doctor or clinic for you or your family, Regence members can sign in to their account or call us at the phone number on the back of their member ID card.