The New Mexico Pharmaceutical Association and the UNM College of Pharmacy are offering classes for pharmacists to receive training on prescribing and administering vaccinations. At the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, there will be four initial classes that will provide training for registered pharmacists to meet the requirements for Certification for Prescriptive authority to provide immunizations
Many states have pharmacists who provide immunizations, however New Mexico regulations are unique in that they will allow pharmacists to also immunize children.
"Pharmacists saw that there was a need for this, so we actively pursued regulations so that pharmacists could prescribe and administer immunizations," said Michel Disco, Associate Dean for External Programs at the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy.
Soon people will be able to receive immunizations from their pharmacists. According to Disco, pharmacists are one of the most accessible health care providers with people seeing their pharmacist on the average of three times a month.
For the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, whose main goal is to improve the immunization rates of the state, it is very exciting. "That pharmacists are going to be another avenue for people to get immunizations for their kids and themselves is great," said Anna Levy, director of the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, "Especially for underserved areas, it will make access to immunizations much easier."
Disco also hopes that people in rural areas will take advantage of this program. "There are many communities around the state that may have a pharmacist in town but not a regular local physician."
Levy added that when the statewide immunization information system is up and running pharmacists will also have access to the system and will be able to update information. Physicians and pharmacists will be able to coordinate to keep everyone up to date on immunizations.
For more information or to register for the Vaccination Prescriptive Authority and Immunization Training Program for Pharmacists call (505)265-8729 or (800) 464-8729.
Contact: Angela Heisel, 272-3322