The Oregon Health Authority has expanded who can administer FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccines, as permitted under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act.

The federal PREP Act amended declaration, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and effective March 11, increases the pool of vaccinators who may not be currently authorized to vaccinate under state law, subject to certain training and supervision requirements.  Under the PREP Act declaration and this most recent amendment, OHA can further expand the list of who may administer authorized COVID-19 vaccines, which it did, adding, for example, traditional health workers.

OHA Director Patrick Allen signed the authorization on March 22, making it immediately effective.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck effort nationally and in Oregon to ensure we are safely vaccinating all eligible adults who wish to receive a vaccine,” said Allen. “The federal directive and my authorization greatly expand the number of professionals who can support this historic public health effort, as we continue to expand our efforts to schedule and vaccinate Oregonians throughout the state as quickly as we can with the supplies provided to us by the federal government and vaccine manufacturers.”

Individuals who are identified as vaccinators under the PREP Act declaration and its amendments, and Director Allen’s authorization, and who meet the requirements as listed, are provided immunity under the PREP Act, except for gross negligence.

The newly eligible groups who can now administer COVID-19 vaccines include the following health professionals and health allied professionals who are currently licensed, certified or registered or had an active license, certification or registration within the last five years:

  • Certified nursing assistants (CNA)
  • Dentists
  • Direct entry midwives
  • Emergency medical services providers (EMT, AEMT, EMT Intermediate or Paramedic)
  • Naturopathic physicians (ND)
  • Nurses
  • Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN, includes nurse midwives)
  • Registered nurses (RN)
  • Licensed practical nurses (LPN)
  • Optometrists
  • Pharmacists, pharmacy interns and pharmacy technicians
  • Phlebotomists
  • Physicians (MDs and DOs)
  • Physician assistants
  • Podiatrists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Traditional health workers
  • Veterinarians

Healthcare students (in these fields of study)

  • Dental
  • Emergency medical services providers (EMT, AEMT, EMT Intermediate or Paramedic)
  • Medical
  • Midwifery
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Nursing (including CNA programs)
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy and pharmacy intern
  • Physician assistant
  • Podiatry
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Veterinary

A list of the requirements for each of the new eligible categories is outlined in the authorization signed on March 22.