PREP Act Amendment and State Legislation Introduced to Expand COVID-19 Vaccinators

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2021

The latest PREP Act Amendment by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expands the list of eligible practitioners to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to include: Dentists, Emergency Medical Technicians (Advanced and Intermediate EMTs), Midwives, Optometrists, Paramedics, Physician Assistants, Podiatrists, Respiratory Therapists, and Veterinarians.

The amendment can be accessed here.

A fact sheet regarding the amendment can be accessed here.

Legislation, House Bill 63, introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by Rep. John A. Lawrence would permit any individual authorized by HHS to administer a COVID-19 vaccination to be permitted to administer such vaccines in Pennsylvania. HB 63 has moved out of the House’s Professional Licensure Committee. HB 63 can be accessed here.

The legislation applies only to COVID-19 vaccinations. If enacted as law, HB 63’s provisions will expire 60 days after the termination of the Governor's COVID-19 emergency declaration order, or December 31, 2022, whichever is earlier.

Generally, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a regulatory waiver would be issued by Governor Wolf in conjunction with the Pa. Department of State following any federal declaration expanding COVID-19 vaccinators for the sake of clarity to waive conflicting state regulations or clarify any ambiguities. PREP Act amendments indicate that the declarations preempt state laws and licensing board regulations.

The following is a reaction from PAMED President Dr. Michael A. DellaVecchia, MD, PhD, FACS, FICS, FCPP:

“Pennsylvania does not need new entities to provide the COVID-19 vaccine. Instead, Pennsylvania needs to use the already established and available network of physicians across the state, particularly primary care practitioners. The Pennsylvania Medical Society urges our public officials to tap into this immediate resource. Physicians are extremely qualified to help solve this critical need. PAMED is disappointed to see House Bill 63 move with this expansion, when our trusted frontline physicians are not being utilized and told to wait.” PAMED President, Dr. Michael DellaVecchia

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