HARRISBURG (WKBN) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf approved a temporary waiver allowing licensed pharmacies in the state to administer the COVID-19 vaccine without a physician’s order once it’s available to the public.

The Wolf administration said adding pharmacists to the list of health care professionals able to administer the vaccine will help expand options for Pennsylvanians.

“Pharmacists, as well as pharmacy interns and technicians, are critical partners in the commonwealth’s plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine,” Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. “Many Pennsylvanians will go to their local pharmacy for vaccination. This waiver will enable pharmacies to offer the COVID-19 vaccines without a physician’s order.”

Pharmacists who have certain training and other requirements can become authorized to administer injectable medications, biologicals and immunizations.

Once they have this, pharmacists can administer any immunization for anyone 18 and older. This includes the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the past, some pharmacies have entered arrangements with physicians so they receive reimbursements for flu shots and other vaccines. The waiver lets pharmacists order and administer the COVID-19 vaccine without an agreement like this.

“We are working on ways to increase access to the vaccine and pharmacists already play an important role in making sure Pennsylvanians are protected,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians continue to play an essential role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by masking up, washing up and socially distancing.”

The waiver only applies to COVID-19 vaccines for the rest of the state’s Disaster Emergency Declaration plus 90 days.