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Immunization Administration Rule Changes

Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 4729-5-38 has undergone two major changes within the past few months, and these changes have expanded the list of vaccines that trained pharmacists may administer in Ohio.

Zoster Vaccine: No Rx requirement

Effective May 22, 2014 pharmacists may administer the zoster (shingles) vaccine without a patient-specific prescription. The patient receiving the vaccine must meet the age criteria listed in the FDA-approved labeling. Pharmacists who administer the vaccine must meet the training requirements of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Rule 4729-5-36, and work under a physician-established protocol.

The guidance document on this rule change can be found at

Pharmacists currently administering Zostavax need to update their protocol to delete the requirements for a patient-specific prescription and administration of the vaccine within 30 days of issuance of the prescription.

MMR Vaccine: Emergency Rule

As a result of recent outbreaks of measles and mumps in Ohio, Governor Kasich signed an executive order in June 2014 to permit immunization-trained pharmacists to administer measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy adopted Amended Emergency Rule 4729-5-38. Amended Emergency Rule 4729-5-38 became effective June 9 allowing pharmacists to administer the MMR vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older.

Pharmacist Immunization Training and Protocols

Pharmacists who administer zoster and MMR vaccines must be able to document meeting the training criteria required by OAC rule 4729-5-36. For pharmacists whose initial immunization training did not include zoster, OPA has a supplemental home-study course (Adult Immunizations for Selected Vaccine-Preventable Diseases) that fulfills the training requirement for zoster vaccine and provide an update on other vaccines. 

For pharmacists who want to administer MMR vaccine but whose training did not include these diseases, OPA also has a one-hour supplemental course (Immunizations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella), approved by the State Board, to meet the training requirement for measles, mumps and rubella. These home-study courses can be purchased by using the following online HOME STUDY CE ORDER FORM.

For all vaccines, the pharmacist must work under a physician-established protocol that is reviewed and signed annually. OPA annually reviews CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines, and updates draft protocols as necessary that you can use in your practice. OPA offers a protocol package that includes draft protocols for each of the vaccines approved in Ohio law for administration by trained pharmacists. A protocol for MMR vaccine was drafted in response to the new legislation and is included with purchase of the Immunizations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella home-study, or as part of the complete protocol package. The protocol package can be purchased by using the following online PROTOCOL PACKAGE ORDER FORM.

Do you know that OPA members receive significant discounts on OPA's convenient, high-quality live & home study CE programs? Join OPA to support your profession, to take advantage of Member-only discounts and many other member benefits.

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