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Provisional pharmacists and pharmacy students may administer influenza vaccine

September 30, 2020

Direct supervision is required and the supervising pharmacist must have authorization to administer drugs by injection.

The 2020-21 influenza season is almost upon us. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s expected more Albertans will get the flu shot than ever before. Alberta Health has ordered 1.96 million doses of influenza vaccine for this season—that’s a 23 per cent increase over the 2019-20 season.

As a result, pharmacies can expect to be busier than normal when it comes to administering influenza vaccine.

This is a reminder that provisional pharmacists (interns) and pharmacy students may only perform injections if the following conditions are met:

  • The provisional pharmacist or pharmacy student must be under the direct supervision of a pharmacist who has authorization to administer drugs by injection. Direct supervision requires that the supervising pharmacist be present when the restricted activity is being performed and be able to observe and promptly intervene to stop or change the actions of the individual under supervision.
  • The provisional pharmacist or pharmacy student must have completed a recognized training program.

The opportunity to perform restricted activities under the supervision of a clinical pharmacist is an important part of developing competency. Administration of injections by provisional pharmacists or pharmacy students should be considered in this context. Preceptors and supervising pharmacists are responsible for ensuring this occurs in an appropriate environment.

Provisional pharmacists and pharmacy students who work in pharmacies outside of ACP’s SPT program or the U of A’s educational rotation, must submit the Work Experience Notification form.

Standards and legislation

Note: Interns and students cannot receive authorization to administer injections; therefore, there will be no authorization noted on their practice permit. The supervising pharmacist must ensure that recognized training has been completed.

The supervising pharmacist is responsible and accountable for all components of the preparation and administration of the injection including meeting the requirements of Standards 16 and 17 of the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians. The supervising pharmacist must have authorization to administer injections.

Section 17 and 19 of the Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians Profession Regulation indicates that provisional pharmacists and pharmacy students who are under the direct supervision of a clinical pharmacist or a courtesy pharmacist may perform the same restricted activities as clinical pharmacists.

For more on the 2020-21 influenza season, including links to useful resources, visit ACP’s Seasonal Influenza Information webpage.

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