State touts access to child vaccines at pharmacies

BOSTON – For the first time, children ages 9 and up can get their flu vaccines at a pharmacy instead of from a primary care doctor this year, a change that officials say will make the vaccination process easier and more convenient for families.

State Department of Public Health regulations that took effect in June allow eligible children to receive all recommended vaccines from a trained pharmacist or a pharmacy intern, a practice previously limited to people 18 and over.

“The idea is convenience will enhance the capacity for kids to get recommended vaccine,” said Dr. Alfred DeMaria, state epidemiologist and director of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases and Laboratory Science. “As long as shots are administered correctly, there’s virtually no downside to this.”

The state Board of Registration in Pharmacy circulated an alert Tuesday on the policy change.

In addition to the flu vaccine, which is available now ahead of the 2017-18 flu season, children can get the HPV…