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OPF Immunization Program Nationally Recognized

The Ohio Pharmacists Foundation's (OPF) Pharmacist Training Program for Adult Immunizations is one of 16 programs nationwide to qualify United States Public Health Service (USPHS) pharmacist officers for providing immunizations. Until recently, only USPHS pharmacist officers certified through the American Pharmacists Association's (APhA) immunization training program were allowed to provide immunizations during USPHS deployments to national and international natural disaster, medical emergency, and humanitarian mission locations. USPHS' Pharmacist Professional Advisory Committee presented OPF's program to the United States Surgeon General's Office of Force Readiness and Deployment (OFRD) to be recognized alongside APhA's immunization program. OFRD approved the OPF program for certification of USPHS officers as pharmacist immunizers during deployment.

The Ohio Pharmacists Association was instrumental in the passage of SB 248 (amending section 4729.41) in 2001 and SB 58 in 2007 which allows Ohio pharmacists to administer immunizations for influenza to individuals 14 years of age and older, and the following adult immunizations: diphtheria, hepatitis A and hepatitis B, meningitis, pertussis, pneumonia, and tetanus. Pharmacists desiring to give immunizations must:

  • complete a course in drug administration approved by the State Board of Pharmacy;
  • receive and maintain certification to perform basic life-support procedures by completing a basic life-support training course by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association; and
  • practice in accordance with a definitive set of treatment guidelines specified in a protocol established by a physician and approved by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

The goals of OPF's Pharmacist Training Program for Adult Immunizations are to train pharmacists to set up an adult immunization program for diphtheria, hepatitis A and hepatitis B, influenza, meningococcal, pertussis, pneumococcal, tetanus; and to train pharmacists to properly administer vaccines and meet the requirements established by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy for recordkeeping and for the use of physician protocols. Participants must demonstrate proper sterile technique and administration of both IM and SQ injections during the program.

The next Pharmacist Training Program for Adult Immunizations will be offered Wednesday, June 18, 2008. More information and registration will soon be available here on the OPA website.

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