PREP Act: Pharmacists Cannot Vaccinate Children Under Age 3
In preparation for the rollout of under 5 vaccines, we wanted to reminder COVID-19 vaccine providers about the PREP Act, its coverage, and limitations. While many pharmacies are planning for a COVID-19 vaccination program for children under 5 years and have also been critical in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for other age groups, their ability to vaccinate these children (under 5) may be limited for various reasons (i.e., PREP Act Declaration authorizations).
The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act and the PREP Act Declaration issued by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) authorize and provide liability protections to licensed providers and others identified in the declaration to administer COVID-19 vaccines authorized or approved by FDA, including COVID-19 vaccines authorized for administration to children. Subject to certain requirements, the recent PREP Act Declaration Third Amendment and HHS guidance authorize licensed pharmacists to order and administer ACIP-recommended vaccines to children ages 3 through 18. Due to this specification, children under the age of 3 are unable to be vaccinated by pharmacists/at pharmacies. It is recommended that pharmacists direct parents of children in this age group to vaccines.gov to find a provider who can offer them vaccination services.
For providers with additional questions regarding the PREP act, please see the following PREP Act guidance.