APMA was invited by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to participate in its March 4 listening session on expanding the vaccinator workforce.
As APMA reported previously, HHS amended its declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) on January 28 to add categories of qualified persons authorized to prescribe, dispense, and administer COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Under this declaration, if a DPM holds an active license that permits them to prescribe, dispense, or administer vaccines (any type), they can provide the vaccine in any state as long as the DPM is not excluded from participation in Medicare and meets other qualifications. The amendment also extended the PREP Act to physicians with inactive licenses; however, the amendment was unclear on the definition of physician and APMA wrote to HHS to seek a clarification.
During the listening session, APMA again urged HHS to clarify that retired DPMs with inactive licenses are included in the definition of physician. APMA also urged HHS to use its authority to grant DPMs in all states to serve as vaccinators without limitations and recommended to HHS that podiatric medical students be added to the list of qualified individuals who can serve as vaccinators.
For more information, visit the Vaccine Tab on APMA’s COVID-19 Resource Page.