ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Although pharmacists are now permitted to administer Covid-19 vaccines in the state, New York is falling far behind when it comes to enabling pharmacists to administer other preventative vaccinations. 

Currently, New York is the only state in the country that doesn’t allow pharmacists to administer Hepatitis A and B vaccines. The state is also one of only two in the U.S. that does not allow pharmacists to give out vaccines that prevent chickenpox, Measles, and HPV.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to access to vaccines at pharmacies, New York is dead last at this point,” Julie Hart, the Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society, said. “This is really disappointing because, for a lot of people, their trusted healthcare source right now is a pharmacy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 90% of Americans have a pharmacist within 5 miles of their residence. The CDC not only recognizes pharmacists as immunization providers but also states that “policy efforts should work to expand the pharmacist’s authority for administration.”

Today the American Cancer Society, NAACP New York State Conference, New York State Association of County Health Organizations, New York Public Health Association, and more than 20 others banded together for a virtual conference.

The group urged lawmakers to pass new legislation to enable pharmacists in New York to administer all vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to anyone over the age of 18.

Hart said the American Cancer Society hopes to shine a light on the prevalence of HPV and the importance of broader access to the vaccine that prevents it.

“HPV vaccine is a vaccination that helps prevent HPV-caused cancers. HPV causes 6 different types of cancers. So, imagine if we had a cancer vaccine? We literally do,” Hart said.