HHS Expands Pool of Authorized COVID-19 Vaccinators
On January 28, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was amending its Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to add additional categories of qualified persons authorized to prescribe, dispense, and administer COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. The amendment authorizes any healthcare provider who is licensed or certified in a state to prescribe, dispense, and administer COVID-19 vaccines in any U.S. state or territory and authorizes any physician, registered nurse, or practical nurse whose license or certification expired within the last five years to prescribe, dispense, and administer COVID-19 vaccines in any U.S. state or territory so long as the certification was active and in good standing prior to the date it went inactive. This authorization preempts any state law that prohibits such a person from these authorized activities. This amendment responds to the urgent need for an expanded pool of COVID-19 vaccinators to increase vaccination access.