Governor Newson Signs CA AB 1710, Legislation Allowing Pharmacists to Initiate and Administer the COVID-19 Vaccine

Sep 25, 2020

On September 24, 2020, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed AB 1710 into law which will allow licensed pharmacists in California to initiate and administer the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is approved by FDA.

Prior to the passage of AB 1710, pharmacists would only have been able to administer a COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, subsequently listed on the routine immunization schedules as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and then published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—a process that could process could take six months or longer.

To prevent unnecessary delays and ensure that community pharmacists could independently administer the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine to ensure stronger patient access to the forthcoming vaccine, the AmerisourceBergen Government Affairs and Policy team and Good Neighbor Pharmacy worked with external stakeholders to advocate for the passage of AB1710 and also sent a Floor Alert to all members of the California Senate urging their support. 

These efforts succeeded, and AB 1710 passed the CA Senate 75 - 0 before being signed by the Governor. The streamlined process set forth in AB 1710 will prevent unnecessary delays in California pharmacists being able to provide the COVID-19 vaccine once available and help alleviate overwhelming demand placed on California’s healthcare infrastructure.

We thank our California based independent community pharmacy customers for their partnership and support in advocating for AB 1710 and additional measures in California to ensure strengthened patient access to care.