AMT submitted written testimony in support of Connecticut legislation which would allow properly trained and credentialed medical assistants to administer vaccines under the supervision and responsibility of a physician or APRN.
AMT Executive Director Christopher Damon submitted written testimony Feb. 1 in support of Connecticut Senate Bill 285, which would allow properly trained and credentialed medical assistants to administer vaccines under the supervision and responsibility of a physician or APRN. Mr. Damon’s testimony on behalf of AMT and its Tri-State Society (CT-MA-RI) was in conjunction with a public hearing on SB 285 scheduled by the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee. (The hearing was postponed due to a major snowstorm in the northeast, but the written testimony was received into the hearing record.)
Under SB 285, individuals who meet the bill’s definition of ‘medical assistant’ – including graduation from an accredited medical assisting education program and certification by an accredited certifying organization such as AMT – and who have completed at least twenty-four (24) hours of classroom training and at least eight (8) hours of hands-on clinical training in vaccine administration, would be qualified to administer vaccinations under appropriate supervision.
Calling the legislation “long overdue,” Mr. Damon emphasized that Connecticut is one of only two states in the U.S. where medical assistants are not currently authorized to administer immunizations and other injections under supervision of a licensed practitioner. “The ongoing COVID-19 emergency highlights the importance of utilizing medical assistants to the full extent of their training, education, and skillsets,” Damon said. He also noted that allowing MAs to give vaccines would benefit the delivery of primary healthcare by freeing-up physicians, APRNs, and other licensed practitioners to see more patients and more efficiently utilize their advanced skillsets.
This is the eighth consecutive year in which legislation has been introduced in Connecticut to authorize delegation of vaccine administration to MAs. Previous efforts have been derailed by opposition from registered nurses, who misguidedly perceive it as a “turf” invasion. SB 285 has the strong support of state and county medical societies, primary care practitioners, and medical assistant certifying organizations.
Pending a legislative enactment, AMT additionally has urged Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to issue an executive order authorizing credentialed medical assistants to administer vaccines during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
(See related article here).