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Kentucky Senators debate changes to pharmacist administered vaccinations


The administration of vaccines to children at Kentucky pharmacies brought forth some emotional debate in the State Senate Friday.

The discussion surrounded legislation to lower the age when pharmacists can administer vaccines to children from nine to five. More than one Senator raised concerns about potential unintended health consequences of these shots. GOP Senator Stephen Meredith said opponents were cheating the children of Kentucky.

“It appears folks that voted against this would rather curse the darkness than light a candle. It’s easy to assume that people have access to care, particularly in rural Kentucky. It’s not there. What do they do, if they don’t have it,” said Meredith.

The Lietchfield lawmaker said 51 of Kentucky’s counties don’t have a pediatrician.

Meredith said the legislation calls for no new vaccine mandates and doesn’t expand the scope of pharmacists and does not replace well-child checkups.

The House bill passed the Senate on a 26-11 vote with three members changing from a yes to a no vote. Voting "no" initially on the legislation was GOP Smithfield Senator Lindsey Tichenor.

“We can ignore adverse effects of vaccines all day long and the general public typically does, but what if one kid gets affected because they had some allergy to an ingredient,” said Tichenor.

Also voting no was northern Kentucky GOP Senator Shelley Funke Frommeyer. Saying, quote, “We must own our health,” Funke Frommeyer told her colleague she had worries about vaccine makeup. She claimed additives in human vaccine are not allowed in pet vaccines.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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