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New Florida law expands list of vaccinations available at local pharmacies

Floridians can now get more vaccines at local pharmacies, thanks to a new state law starting Wednesday.

Signed by Gov. Rick Scott on June 10, House Bill 279 makes new vaccines available to patients at pharmacies, instead of only at doctors’ offices. The new products join influenza and shingles vaccines, which were already available at all local pharmacies.

The newly expanded list now includes vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough), varicella, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), meningococcal and pneumococcal.

“Access to vaccinations is important for the continued welfare of our communities,” said Senate Health Policy Committee Chairman Aaron Bean. “The inability of Floridians to receive vaccinations puts them, their family members and the wider community at risk,”

The new law increases access, to help keep “all residents and visitors safe and healthy,” said Bean, a Fernandina Beach Republican.

Florida and the nation face an acute physician shortage, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, with an expected a deficit of up to 90,000 doctors nationwide in the next 10 years.

Although patients are finding it harder to get a doctor, 95 percent of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, often with extended hours and some open 24 hours a day.

Providing vaccinations, as well as chronic disease management and preventive medicine, like screenings for diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure and bone density, pharmacists are becoming some of Florida’s most accessible health care providers.

Written By

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist, editor and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range included covering news, local government and entertainment reviews for Patch.com, technical articles, and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine as well as advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached at phil.ammann@gmail.com.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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