new pho order authorizes pharmacy technicians to provide covid-19 vaccines
As part of BC’s ongoing response to COVID-19, on January 9, 2022, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry issued an Order allowing a number of health professionals, including pharmacy technicians, to perform COVID-19 immunization activities with specific limits and mandatory training.
This Order repeals and replaces a previously issued Order that was released on March 14, 2021 with respect to regulated and unregulated health professionals providing SARS-CoV-2 Immunization.
The Order authorizes pharmacy technicians to administer an injection of a COVID-19 vaccine under the supervision of a registrant who is authorized under a health profession regulation, and competent, to perform immunization activities.
Similar to the previous Order issued on March 14, 2021, this Order authorizes pharmacy technicians to continue to participate in the preparation of vaccines, including the drawing of doses from a vial.
These immunization activities must be performedonly in the course of providing a SARS-CoV-2 immunization program and in accordance with the resources issued by the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Pharmacy technicians must complete all mandatory training (listed in the table below) before performing COVID-19 immunization activities.
Immunization Activity, Excluded Services, Specific Limits and Mandatory Training for Pharmacy Technicians
Authorized Immunization Activities
|Services Specifically excluded from the authorized immunization activity||Specific limits||mandatory training|
When administering an injection of a COVID-19 vaccine, must be supervised by a registrant who is authorized under a health profession regulation, and competent, to perform the Immunization Activity
In-person education and clinical lab training to perform intramuscular injections as per the BC Centre for Disease Control’s – COVID-19 Immunization Skills Checklist
COVID-19 Immunization Competency Course for Non-Nursing Professionals
(This course includes the BC Centre for Disease Control’s – Informed Consent for Immunization component)
ADMINISTERING COVID-19 IMMUNIZATIONS TO CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Pharmacy technicians, and other health care providers identified in this Order, who will be administering COVID-19 vaccines to children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17 must first complete the following training, as required by the Order:
- “BCCDC COVID-19 Immunization for Children 5 to 11 Years of Age” must be completed before performing an Immunization activity on a child aged 5 to 11 years.
- “BCCDC COVID-19 Immunization for Older Children and Adolescents” must be completed before performing an Immunization activity on a child or adolescent aged 12 to 17 years.
Assessment of an Authorized pharmacy technician’s Competence to Perform the Immunization Activity
This Order also provides information on the role of employer assessment, including guidance on how this assessment is to be completed in the event that the authorized pharmacy technician’s employer is not a registrant:
- The Authorized Health Professional’s employer or a medical health officer must first assess the Authorized Health Professional’s competence to perform the Immunization Activity in a manner that is safe for both the patient and the Authorized Health Professional, including by requiring the Authorized Health Professional to demonstrate knowledge and skill, in accordance with the Resources, respecting the Immunization Activity. The Authorized Health Professional’s employer may only make this assessment if the employer is a registrant, or is acting on the advice of a registrant, who has assessed the Authorized Health Professional and who is authorized under a health profession regulation, and competent, to perform the Immunization Activity.
ORDER OF THE PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICER
REGULATED AND UNREGULATED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Note: The order does not apply to health professionals, including registered pharmacists, who can normally provide immunization services under their health profession regulations. For more information on BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan and Pharmacist’s Injection Authority see the related ReadLinks article here.
Health professionals who are interested in participating in the immunization campaign, including those authorized in the PHO Order, are able to register their interest online through the COVID-19 Emergency Health Provider Registry (EPHR).
Learn more at bcpharmacists.org/covid19.