Can Pharmacy Technician-Administer Immunizations?


Can Pharmacy Technician-Administer Immunizations?
When Idaho implemented its first pilot project allowing pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not only a significant step for the state’s pharmacies but for the entire profession.1 Although HHS guidance to expand this advanced role was temporary, the momentum generated by states and CVS’ efforts should lead to permanent change.2 Go here

However, if this new role is to be sustained beyond the end of the pandemic, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians need to understand what motivates and supports its success. The goal of this research was to gather opinions from pharmacists and pharmacy technicians about how the ability to vaccinate has impacted their job satisfaction, feelings of responsibility in their position, confidence administering immunizations, changes in patient interactions after becoming immunization-trained, and support from their pharmacists and colleagues.

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The research methodology was semi-structured interviews that utilized 18 questions based on the domains of the New Practice Theory (NPT) theoretical framework: Initiation, Legitimation, Enrollment, and Activation.5 Initiation involved the initial internal drive for technicians to participate in training, while Legitimation involves ensuring those who are involved believe they are doing the right thing. Enrollment is about rethinking relationships between individuals and groups, and Activation is about defining procedures to create sustained change.

The research analyzed the initial concerns raised before Idaho launched its pilot, including how it would impact pharmacists’ legal immunization authority and whether technicians would be willing to do this advanced work. These hypothetical concerns have not materialized, but further research is needed to better understand longer-term satisfaction and workflow implications of a permanent shift in pharmacy technicians’ scope of practice.