Out-of-State Health Care Providers May Administer COVID-19 Vaccine in Pennsylvania
February 9, 2021
To expand the number of available health care professionals who can administer the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania, the Department of State requested, and the Governor approved, a temporary suspension of certain licensure requirements to enable healthcare practitioners from other states to administer COVID-19 vaccines without licensure in the Commonwealth. Health care professionals from out of state may administer COVID-19 vaccines in Pennsylvania provided that they hold a license in good standing in their home jurisdiction and they meet the specific qualification requirements of Section V(f) of the Amendment of the PREP Act as described below.
On January 28, 2021, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued an amendment (Amendment) to Section V of the March 17, 2020, Declaration issued by the former Secretary of Health and Human Services under the PREP Act. The Amendment was issued after a determination by the Acting Secretary of the existence of "an urgent need to expand the pool of available COVID-19 vaccinators in order to respond effectively to the pandemic."
The Amendment provides that a qualified person now includes "healthcare providers who are [actively] licensed in a State to prescribe, dispense, and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines in any State or jurisdiction where the PREP Act applies."
If a licensed healthcare provider is not actively practicing, before administering COVID-19 vaccines, they are required to document completion of the Center for Disease Control's COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules and be observed by a currently practicing healthcare professional who documents that the licensee is adequately experienced in vaccination and is competent in the preparation and administration of any COVID-19 vaccine.
The Declaration preempts any law of this Commonwealth or Board regulation that prohibits a healthcare provider licensed in another state from administering COVID-19 vaccines without a Commonwealth-issued license.
This suspension applies solely to COVID-19 vaccines and shall last for the duration of the Amendments to the Declaration issued by DHHS under the PREP Act, or for the duration of the Governor's disaster emergency declaration, plus an additional 90 days thereafter, unless terminated sooner, whichever is longer.
It is incumbent upon the federal, state, local, tribal or territorial authority or institution sponsoring the vaccination effort to assure that the out-of-state health care professionals administering COVID-19 vaccines meet the requirements under section V(f) of the Declaration issued under the PREP Act.