HHS Issues Guidance for National Guard Personnel Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines and Immunity under the PREP Act
HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health issued guidance indicating it is extending coverage under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to qualified National Guardsmen administering COVID-19 vaccinations that have been authorized or licensed by the FDA to individuals ages 3 and older. HHS conveyed this will allow states and territories to fully utilize National Guard health and medical personnel to increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations .Similar to other categories of “covered persons” under the PREP Act, the Guardsmen may receive immunity under the PREP Act with respect to all claims for loss related to the administration or use of vaccines and will be subject to other applicable requirements of the Act as follows:
– The vaccine must be FDA-authorized or FDA-licensed.
– The vaccination must be ordered and administered according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP’s) COVID-19 vaccine recommendation.
– The Guardsman must be authorized by his or her National Guard unit to administer vaccines.
– The Guardsman must have a current certificate in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
– The Guardsman must comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the jurisdiction in which he or she administers vaccines
– The Guardsman must comply with any applicable requirements (or conditions of use) as set forth in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination program provider agreement and any other federal requirements that apply to the administration of COVID-19 vaccine(s).
This authorization preempts any State and local law that prohibits or effectively prohibits those who satisfy these requirements from ordering or administering COVID-19 vaccines.