Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Doctors, Pharmacists Fight over Administration of Shots

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Doctors, Pharmacists Fight over Administration of Shots

Article excerpt

A bill allowing pharmacists to administer vaccinations to any person over six years old faced opposition Tuesday from physicians who argued the legislation would fragment medical care for adolescent and child patients.

Pharmacists in Kansas can vaccinate anyone over 18 years of age and administer flu vaccinations to any person older than six years of age. House Bill 2646, which was heard in the House Health and Human Services committee, would expand that to any vaccination for any person over six. National and statewide pharmacy associations supported the bill, which they say would allow for more children to get more vaccinations, especially when time and money were issues for parents.

"This is not in lieu of seeing a provider, or a pediatrician, or a primary care provider, this is to advance what they do," said Lis Houchen, regional director of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

The legislation was met with criticism by several doctors and physicians organizations who say the bill would limit children's exposure to doctors during critical adolescent years. Meningitis, HPV, whooping cough and tetanus vaccinations are some of the shots adolescents routinely receive.

Wakon Fowler, a doctor practicing family medicine in Pratt and member of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians, said that while the academy was in support of more vaccination, they wanted to make sure patients had "medical homes" and a repository of medical records.

"An immunization appointment often represents the best and only opportunity to examine patients and provide other preventative care," Fowler said. …

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