Indiana pharmacists now can offer more immunizations to customers.
A new law that goes into effect on Monday allows pharmacists to vaccinate against pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, HPV infections and meningitis.
“They’re missing vaccines. There are so many people who are behind, especially on the tetanus vaccine,” says Indianapolis pharmacist Cara Acklin says. “The t-dip vaccine is especially important right now because we’re having outbreaks of pertussis, which is whooping cough, across the country.”
Lindsey Lira, a family physician with St. Vincent Medical Group in Mitchell, says many people’s insurance covers vaccines so they don’t have to pay any more than they would for a regular doctor’s visit. Still, while the new law will likely mean less people are going to doctors for vaccinations, she says that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“Where I practice out in rural Indiana there always has been and always will be some amount of access to medical care problems,” she says.
Lira says so even if people do not go to the doctor regularly, they will at least be getting some form of preventative care through the vaccinations.
Pharmacists can administer an immunization using any vaccine recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to children ages nine or older.
The state already has more than 2,700 pharmacists trained to provide the shots and several hundred new ones are added each year.
Network Indiana contributed to this report.