What are the requirements to administer immunizations?
To obtain a certificate to administer immunizations from the Board, a licensed optometrist must do the following:
· Hold a valid Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents (TPA) certificate
· Complete an immunization training program endorsed by the CDC or the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education that, at a minimum, includes hands-on injection technique, clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of vaccines, and the recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines, and maintain that training.
· Be certified in basic life support
· Comply with all state and federal recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including providing documentation to the patient’s primary care provider and entering information in the appropriate immunization registry designated by the immunization branch of the California State Department of Public Health:
· Complete an application for an immunization certificate on a board approved form and pay the fee of $50.00 USD.
What Immunizations can be administered by an optometrist?
Immunizations for influenza, herpes zoster virus, pneumococcus, and SARS-CoV-2 in compliance with individual Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) vaccine recommendations published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for persons 18 years of age or older.
Where do I obtain the vaccines?
You can order and purchase vaccines from distributors like McKesson, and myfluvaccine.com to name a few.
What are the costs?
Costs will be dependent on your volume or purchasing and your relationship with the distributor. This will vary for each practice and practitioner.
What steps do I need to take to be able to administer vaccines?
As stated in the CDC – ACIP Course, you will need the appropriate storage equipment. That can include sub-freezing freezer, dedicated refrigerator, and secure storage. As a reminder, you cannot store vaccines in your normal breakroom refrigerator.
Additionally, you will need age-appropriate syringes and needles, gloves of varying sizes, band aides, alcohol wipes, cotton balls, gauze, and surgical tape. A hazard waste basket and a sharps container for your hazard waste, used syringes and needles. You will need to contract or sign up for a service to dispose of the hazard waste and sharps container appropriately.
What are the regulations?
Comply with all state and federal recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including providing documentation to the patient’s primary care provider and entering information in the appropriate immunization registry designated by the immunization branch of the California State Department of Public Health:
How do I volunteer to administer vaccine?
If you are part of a medical group with an existing vaccination clinic, speak with your clinic director. If you are not part of a medical group with an existing vaccination clinic, connect with your county department of public health. They can direct you to clinics in need of providers. Additionally:
You can sign-up as a volunteer through My Turn - Volunteer You can sign up for California’s Health Corps here: https://covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps/
How do I bill for the vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination providers cannot charge vaccine recipients for the vaccine (which is provided free to enrolled providers by the U.S. government) or for any administration fees, copays, or coinsurance. If a vaccine recipient has health coverage, providers may seek appropriate reimbursement from the recipient’s plan or program (e.g., private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid) for a vaccine administration fee. However, providers cannot bill the recipient for the balance not covered by the recipient’s plan or program. Providers may also seek reimbursement for underinsured and uninsured vaccine recipients from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Do I need to register with the State Board of Optometry?
Yes. Once you have met all the requirements and mailed in your board application, proof of requirements met and payment, please allow 4-6 weeks for the certificate to be mailed to your address of record. You do not need to renew your certification once it is issued.
Other links you may find helpful:
CDPH immunization branch: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/COVID-19Vaccine.aspx#
Updates for Providers” webpage from the State of CA: https://eziz.org/covid/
CDC Vaccination Program Provider Requirements and Support: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/vaccination-provider-support.html