Frequently Asked Questions

Administration of Immunizations


A registered pharmacist who is certified by the New York State Education Department (SED) to administer immunizations is authorized to administer immunizing agents to prevent seasonal influenza to patients 2 years of age or older, and to administer immunizing agents to prevent pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease, acute herpes zoster (shingles), tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis disease to patients 18 years of age or older. Administration of immunizations may be pursuant to either a patient specific prescription/order or a non-patient specific order.

  1. Are all registered pharmacists authorized to administer immunizations?

    No. Pharmacists must be currently registered and certified by SED to immunize in New York State. Pharmacists certified to administer immunizations would carry the designation of an “I” on their registration certificates.

  2. How does a pharmacist become certified? To become certified, a pharmacist must:

    • o be currently licensed and registered in New York State;
    • o submit a completed Pharmacist Immunization Certification Form with the application fee to SED;
    • o provide evidence that he/she has completed an approved immunization course has been completed within the past three years; and
    • o provide evidence he/she is currently certified in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Basic Life Support (BLS). “On-line” or “virtual” courses will not be accepted.

  3. Are there specific immunization courses that must be taken?

    Yes. SED and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) have identified the American Pharmacists Association's (APhA) National Certificate Program for Pharmacists (Pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery) as the required course for pharmacist immunization certification. The program is offered at most colleges of pharmacy and professional organizations in New York State. In addition to the APhA certificate program, SED will accept completion of training in the administration of immunization agents received as part of a Doctor of Pharmacy degree program.

  4. May pharmacists use immunization certification course credits to satisfy a portion of their continuing education (CE) requirements?

    Yes. The 20 credits (8 live/12 home study) for completing the APhA certificate program and up to 5 live credits for completing CPR/BLS can be used to satisfy a portion of the CE required during the registration period in which the pharmacists earned them.

  5. Am I required to be currently certified in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Basic Life Support (BLS) to provide immunizations?

    Yes. Pharmacists that administer immunizations must maintain and be currently certified in CPR or BLS to provide immunizations.

  6. Can a pharmacist seeking licensure by endorsement who has been actively immunizing in another jurisdiction become certified to administer immunizations in New York State?

    Yes. A pharmacist licensed by endorsement of his/her out of state license, who has taken an approved course and has been actively administering immunizations in another jurisdiction may be certified to administer immunizations in New York State.

  7. Can pharmacy interns administer immunizations in New York State?

    No. The law restricts administration of immunizations to certified licensed pharmacists.

  8. How will the public know which pharmacists are certified to administer immunizations?

    Each pharmacist certified to administer immunizations will receive a registration certificate from SED that will contain the prefix "I". Likewise, SED’s online license verification system will also identify certified pharmacists that have immunization privileges.

  9. What immunizations are certified pharmacists able to administer?

    Certified pharmacists may administer seasonal influenza vaccines to patients 2 years of age or older pursuant to a patient specific prescription/order or a non-patient specific order. Certified pharmacists may administer pneumococcal, meningococcal, acute herpes zoster (shingles), tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis vaccinations to adults 18 years of age or older pursuant to a patient specific prescription/order or a non-patient specific order.

  10. Which immunizations are certified pharmacists authorized to administer to children?

    Certified pharmacists are only authorized to administer seasonal influenza vaccinations to children between 2 and 18 years of age.

  11. Are certified pharmacists able to administer the intranasal or the intradermal form of the influenza vaccine?

    Yes.

  12. From whom may a certified pharmacist accept a patient-specific prescription/order or a non-patient specific order for immunizations?

    A pharmacist may administer immunizations based on a patient-specific prescription/order for an immunization from a physician or a nurse practitioner. Likewise, a pharmacist may administer immunizations based on a non-patient specific order from a New York State licensed physician or nurse practitioner located within the same county, or from an adjoining county.

  13. What immunizations is a certified pharmacist allowed to administer with a patient specific order versus a non-patient specific order?

    A pharmacist may administer any of the following immunizations: seasonal influenza to patients age 2 years of age or older, and pneumococcal, meningococcal, acute herpes zoster (shingles), tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis vaccinations to adults 18 years of age or older pursuant to a patient specific order.

    A pharmacist may administer any of the following immunizations: seasonal influenza to patients age 2 years of age or older, and, pneumococcal, meningococcal, acute herpes zoster (shingles), tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis vaccinations to adults 18 years of age or older pursuant to a non-patient specific order provided that the order is signed by a New York State licensed physician or nurse practitioner practicing in the same county or a county that adjoins the county where the pharmacist will be administering vaccine, and the immunization is administered in accordance with the most current Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP). An immunization administered based on a non-patient specific order cannot be administered outside of ACIP guidelines, for example, the current ACIP guideline for herpes zoster only allows for administration to patients 50 years of age and older.

  14. Where can I find additional information about non-patient specific orders?

    Additional information can be found on DOH’s website, located here.

  15. Where can I find the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) “Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule” that is required to be posted in the immunization area?

    For the most current information, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, located here.

  16. Where can I find education materials on influenza vaccinations for children?

    Poster:Protect your kids from the Flu!

    Handout: The Flu: A Guide for Parents

    “The Flu: A Guide for Parents” is also available in Spanish, Italian, simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean and Russian here.

  17. Are registered and certified pharmacists able to administer immunizations in locations other than within registered pharmacies?

    Yes. Certified pharmacists may administer immunizations outside the registered pharmacy area.

  18. What are the reporting requirements?

    As described in section 2168 of the New York State Public Health Law, pharmacists must:

    • report all immunizations administered to persons less than 19 years of age to the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), for immunizations administered outside of New York City (NYC), or to the City Immunization Registry (CIR), for immunizations administered within NYC; and
    • report immunizations administered to persons aged 19 years and older to NYSIIS or the CIR upon consent of the patient; and
    • report to the patient’s primary care provider upon consent of the patient within one month of administration.

    For more information on reporting to the Department of Health, please visit the NYSIIS Web site here. Pharmacists in New York City must report to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Further information is available here.

  19. Does the Medicaid Program cover vaccinations?

    Yes, for full details please refer to the Medicaid Updates on Immunization here.

  20. Where can I find more information about the New York State Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program?

    Information on the VFC program is available here.
Last Updated: July 17, 2018