COLUMBIA, S.C.– South Carolina has now expanded the number of vaccinations you can get at a pharmacy without needing a prescription. Until now, the only one you could get without a prescription was the flu vaccine. Now there are ten more, after the state Board of Medical Examiners expanded the list on November 4.
The eleven you can get now are:
- Haemophilus Influenzae
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Human Papillomavirus
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella
- Meningococcal (MCV4 and MenB)
- Pneumococcal (PPSV23 and PCV13)
- Tetanus and diphtheria/Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Td/Tdap) (pertussis=whooping cough)
- Varicella (chicken pox)
- Zoster (shingles)
The new protocol also now allows the flu vaccine to be given to children 12 and older without a prescription. Pharmacist Brandon Bookstaver worked on the new protocol and says, “If a family comes in and they have a child who is 16 and they’re there at the pharmacy to get their flu vaccine, previously the child would have needed a prescription at age 15 or 16 to receive it. Now the entire family can get vaccinated at once when they go to a pharmacy.”
Patti Fabel, past president and chairman of the board of the South Carolina Pharmacy Association, also worked on the protocol. She says making the additional vaccines more easily available should reduce disease in the state. “We’ve seen a bump in the flu vaccination rates since 2010, when our flu protocol was passed, where we could give flu without a prescription,” she says.
South Carolina was one of only 17 states that allowed only the flu vaccine to be given without a prescription.
Pharmacists are trained in giving vaccines. Bookstaver says, “This is not meant to replace any interactions with your physician or your provider, that we hope that will be promoting these vaccines.” But it does mean you can now get more vaccinations without a doctor’s visit first, which may save you money.