Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order to Allow Pharmacists to Immunize Children Under 18 for Influenza

Governor Andrew Cuomo today issued an executive order to allow pharmacists to immunize children under the age of 18.  The Executive Order, effective today, suspends the section of state education law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer immunizing agents to anyone under age 18. Parents and guardians are encouraged to call pharmacies ahead of their visit, to ensure they are ready to receive patients in this age group. Parents and guardians with children between the ages of six months and 24 months are still encouraged to see their primary care provider for the vaccination. This action by the governor has occurred in prior years when the influenza outbreak has been severe. Additionally, the Governor also took the following steps to combat the influenza outbreak:

  • Issuance of Department of Financial Services guidance to health insurers to ensure that prior authorization is not a barrier to the prescribing of antiviral medications within the first 48 hours of illness.
  • Direct engagement with all New York State county health commissioners to review the four key strategies of influenza control- vaccination, rapid antiviral treatment, isolation of sick individuals, and good hand hygiene- and promote local vaccination awareness efforts.
  • Ongoing communication with all New York State hospitals and nursing homes to review capacity management strategies and the actions available to expand capacity to handle patient surge.
  • Continued monitoring of hospital capacity through survey and direct outreach to hospital leadership.
A copy of the Executive Order can be found here.