A bill expanding the vaccinations that can be administered by a pharmacist was given final passage by the Democratic-controlled houses of the state Legislature on Tuesday and now heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for his consideration.
The measure adds to the list of vaccines that can be provided by a pharmacist in New York, adopting the shots endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That would include vaccinations the the HPV vaccine, which advocates and health experts say can prevent cancer.
“Vaccines save lives. Improving vaccine access in pharmacies is a no-brainer," said Julie Hart, the state government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. "The HPV vaccine is safe, effective, and can help prevent six types of cancer."
New York is one of two states that do not allow pharmacists to administer the HPV vaccine.
The bill's passage comes as pharmacies, both large chain retailers and independent businesses, have been hubs for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Supporters of the legislation point to the ease for people in reaching a local pharmacy: 90% of the U.S. population lives within two miles of a pharmacy; more than 95% lives within five miles.
"Expanding access will assist countless New Yorkers and remove barriers to lifesaving vaccinations," Hart said.