Cuomo signs executive order, allowing pharmacists to administer flu shot
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an executive order to combat the flu epidemic in New York. The executive order allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children ages 2 to 18 – increasing access and convenience for New Yorkers seeking the flu vaccination as the number of reported cases across the state continues to rise.
Over the past week, 7,779 laboratory confirmed influenza cases were reported to the state and 1,759 New Yorkers have been hospitalized with confirmed influenza, the highest weekly numbers in both categories since reporting began in 2004 and surpassing last week’s previous high of 1,606 hospitalizations.
“With flu cases reaching epidemic proportions in New York, we must do everything in our power to fight this virus and keep New Yorkers safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “Once again, I urge all New Yorkers to help us combat this quick-spreading strain of flu and make sure they and their loved ones are vaccinated.”
To raise awareness on the high rates of influenza and to continue to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated, Governor Cuomo has also called on the Department of Health to immediately expand the state’s influenza public service advertising campaign targeting the areas of the state hardest hit by influenza. Additionally, subscribers to the New York State text line will receive a message encouraging them to get a vaccine and providing resources to find a location to receive the vaccine.
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 to allow vaccines to be administered to anyone age 2 and up. 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 6 months and 24 months are still encouraged to see their primary care provider for the vaccination.
To receive a flu shot, contact your local health care provider or pharmacy, or find information about vaccination clinics by contacting your local health department. Flu shots may also be found through the HealthMap Vaccine Finder at www.vaccinefinder.org.