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Connecticut Pharmacists Want 'Full Provider' Status For Vaccine Distribution

A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared at the New York State drive-thru vaccination site at Plattsburgh International Airport.
Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Connecticut residents could find it harder to get a flu shot and possibly COVID-19 vaccination from their local pharmacy if a new bill proposed by the state public health committee is approved, according to the Connecticut Pharmacists Association.

Nathan Tinker, the association’s CEO, called the bill short sighted.

The legislation would allow pharmacists to vaccinate teenagers, starting in July 2022. Pharmacists in Connecticut do not have full “provider status,” which allow patients to use Medicare and state insurance plans to pay for medical services, including vaccinations.

Tinker wants pharmacists to be given full “provider status.”

“Making healthcare easier, less expensive and more convenient is always a good thing, no matter where you are in the state. And so, provider status would bring a level of security and convenience to our networks that simply don’t exist right now.”

Tinker said the pharmacies have been the backbone in helping roll out vaccines during the pandemic, especially in more rural parts of the state.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.