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Vaccination Privileges for Health Professionals: An Extension of the Possibilities

Legislation on vaccinations by health professionals has evolved during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, doctors are no longer the only ones to prescribe and administer vaccines, including in occupational health.

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Occupational health physicians can vaccinate employees within the scope of occupational health and prevention services, guided by the vaccination schedule that remains the public health reference. But they are no longer the only ones who can do so.

Nurses

Nurses are now granted the right to prescribe and administer vaccines. This change allows health professionals to expand their scope of action in terms of vaccination prevention. From now on, they can prescribe vaccines to individuals aged 11 and over, taking into account their specific age and health condition. They must record in the vaccinated person’s health and shared medical records the name of the administered vaccine, the date of administration, and its batch number.

Before starting this activity, nurses must declare their prescribing capacity to the competent authority of the nursing council. This declaration must include their professional name, first name, and identification number. For those who have not acquired knowledge about vaccine prescription during their initial training, it is necessary to complete additional training that certifies mastery of knowledge on preventive diseases through vaccination, the traceability of vaccinations, and the recommendations of the vaccination schedule. Prescription can begin immediately after the declaration is accepted.

Pharmacists and Midwives

Similarly, retail pharmacists, mutualist pharmacies, or mining rescue pharmacies are now authorized to prescribe and administer vaccines, provided they declare their activity and have the proper training. This measure is part of a desire to increase the accessibility and efficiency of vaccination campaigns. The declaration must be submitted to the competent authority of the pharmacy council and must include proof of training if necessary. Vaccination can begin as soon as the declaration is validated.

Midwives have also been given the green light to prescribe and administer vaccines to their patients, following the current recommendations of the vaccination schedule, including vaccines against seasonal flu.

Medical Students

Finally, a significant measure for medical training: medical students in the third cycle of their studies can administer vaccines under the supervision of a mentor. This opportunity is available to all eligible individuals according to the current vaccination schedule and is not limited to seasonal flu. This represents an important step in their practical training and strengthens the resources available for vaccination campaigns.

In conclusion:

These regulatory evolutions are part of a global strategy to reinforce the prevention of infectious diseases by expanding the role and competencies of various health professionals. It is essential that all stakeholders in the occupational health sector understand these changes to effectively integrate them into their daily practices and thus improve the vaccination coverage of the population.

Philippe Casanova

Specialist in occupational medicine and forensic medicine.