Now Law: Mukherji, Verrelli & Lopez Legislation Permitting Optometrists to Administer Coronavirus, Flu Vaccines

As the state calls on qualified health care professionals to assist in its effort to vaccinate New Jersey adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, Anthony Verrelli and Yvonne Lopez permitting optometrists to administer vaccines under certain circumstances was signed into law Wednesday.

The law (formerly bill A-5222) permits the New Jersey State Board of Optometrists to authorize optometrists to administer vaccines to adults for influenza and coronaviruses if they meet the training and qualification requirements established by the board pursuant to the ‘Administrative Procedure Act.’ During a public health emergency involving an outbreak or epidemic of a coronavirus or influenza, the board may certify optometrists to administer the associated vaccine, regardless of whether the board has adopted the aforementioned rules and regulations.

Upon the bill becoming law, Assembly sponsors Mukherji (D-Hudson), Verrelli (D-Hunterdon, Mercer) and Lopez (D-Middlesex) issued the following joint statement:

“We’re all eager to see an end to this unprecedented crisis. A key factor influencing how quickly we can distribute vaccines to residents is how many health care professionals are available to help administer them. Expanding safe points of access for New Jerseyans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will help our state get this pandemic under control more quickly and efficiently.”