ARLINGTON, Va. — NACDS today hailed the introduction of Texas House Bill (HB) 1105 — legislation led by Texas State Rep. Four Price (R) that would help ensure Texans ages three and up maintain convenient access to COVID-19 vaccinations and other immunizations at the healthcare destination of their choice.
The regular session of the 88th Texas Legislature convened at noon on Tuesday, January 10.
Specifically, HB 1105 would make permanent the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) authority that authorizes pharmacists to both order and administer routine immunizations for individuals three years and older.
The bill would also permit pharmacy teams to continue to administer the full range of immunizations and vaccinations “authorized or approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or listed in the routine immunization schedule recommended by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.”
“NACDS thanks State Representative Four Price (R) for taking critical action to help maintain Texas families’ access to the pharmacy services they rely on and expect,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson. “Pharmacies and pharmacy teams play an essential role in connecting Texans to vaccination access. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacies stepped up to deliver care to families across the state — particularly those in rural, urban and underserved areas.
“Texans deserve to have a choice when determining where to access critical health and wellness services. We urge the state legislature to prioritize patients and keep HB 1105 on its path toward becoming law.”
A poll commissioned by NACDS and conducted by Morning Consult December 7-12, 2022, found that 61% of Texan adults believe “learning the lessons of the pandemic means keeping in place policies that make it easier for patients to access services from pharmacists and other pharmacy team members – including vaccinations.” Meanwhile, only 21% believe “it is time to return to all policies that were in place before the pandemic, including those that limit patients’ access to services provided by pharmacists and other pharmacy members.”
Further, 85% of Texans say it is very or somewhat easy to access pharmacies, ranking their accessibility the highest among healthcare destinations tested.*
Federally, NACDS is urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to take action to ensure that patient access made possible by the PREP Act remains in place while states update their related laws.