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IMMUNIZATION BRANCH

Licensees Authorized to Administer Vaccines in California

To navigate directly to the following types of providers, use the links below:

Physicians and Medical Students

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​​Physician and Surgeon (allopathic)

Medical Board of California

BPC § 2051

  • ​May independently initiate

​Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon

Osteopathic Medical Board

of California

BPC §§ 2051 & 2453

  • ​May independently initiate

​Medical Students

Medical Board of California

BPC § 2064


  • May engage in the practice of medicine, including administering vaccines, whenever and wherever prescribed as a part of their course of study.

See note below.*


​Physician and Surgeon Postgraduate Training License Holders

Medical Board of California

BPC §§ 2064.5 & 2065


  • May practice medicine, including administering vaccines, whenever and wherever required as part of postgraduate training program.

​​Visiting Fellow Registrant

Medical Board of California

BPC §§ 2111 & 2112


  • May practice medicine, including administering vaccines, in the department or division in the medical school to which they are appointed, under the direction of the head of the department to which they are appointed, and supervised by the staff of the medical school's medical center; or,

  • May practice medicine, including administering vaccines, in the specialty program in the sponsoring hospital, under the direction and supervision of a licensed, board-certified physician and surgeon who is recognized as a clearly outstanding specialist in the field in which the foreign fellow is to be trained.

​Medical School Faculty Member Registrant 

Medical Board of California

BPC § 2113

  • ​May practice medicine, including administering vaccines, incident to and a necessary part of their duties as approved by the Board in connection with the faculty position at the medical school or academic medical center or their affiliated institutions.

​Special Faculty Permit

Medical Board of California

BPC § 2168

  • ​May practice medicine, including administering vaccines, within the medical school or academic medical center (AMC) or at affiliated institutions in which the permitholder is providing instruction as part of the medical school’s or AMC’s educational program and for which the medical school or AMC has assumed direct responsibility.

Naturopathic Doctors

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​​Naturopathic Doctors

Naturopathic Medicine Committee

BPC § 3640.5

16 CCR § 4236


  • Pursuant to standardized procedure or protocol, under physician and surgeon supervision, and with a furnishing number from the Naturopathic Medicine Committee.​



Physician Assistants and Physician Assistant Students

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​​Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant Board

Physician Assistant FAQs

BPC § 3502

16 CCR § 1399.540


  • The physician assistant is competent to perform;
  • The education, training, and experience have prepared the physician assistant to perform;
  • Immunization is authorized by a practice agreement; 
  • The physician assistant is supervised pursuant to the practice agreement's terms; and
  • A supervising physician is available by, at a minimum, electronic means. 

See note below.*




​Physician Assistant Students

Physician Assistant Board

See note below.*

Nurses and Nursing Students

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

Registered Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Midwife, Public Health Nurse, Nurse Practitioner 

Board of Registered Nursing

BPC § 2725

  • May independently initiate.

Registered Nurse Interim Permit Holders

Board of Registered Nursing

BPC § 2732.1

16 CCR § 1414


  • Under direct supervision of a licensed registered nurse who is present and available on the patient care unit.

​Registered Nurse Temporary License Holders

Board of Registered Nursing

BPC § 2733

  • May independently initiate.

​Registered Nursing Students 

Board of Registered Nursing

BPC § 2729


  • ​​​​A student enrolled in a Board-approved prelicensure nursing program may provide nursing services, including immunizations, incidental to their course of nursing study.

See note below.*

​​Licensed Vocational Nurse

Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians

BPC §§ 2860.5 & 2860.7

  • Under direction of a physician and surgeon;

  • Upon standing orders of supervising physician; or

  • Pursuant to written guidelines adopted by the hospital or medical group with whom the physician is associated.

​Licensed Vocational Nursing Students

Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians

BPC § 2862



  • ​When enrolled in an approved vocational nursing school and when immunization services are incidental to student course of study.

See note below.*​​



Midwives and Student Midwives

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

Licensed Midwives and Student Midwives​

Medical Board of California

See note below.*

Medical Assistants

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

Medical Assistant

Medical Board of California

BPC § 2069

16 CCR § 1366


  • If trained to administer medication by injection, medical assistants may administer vaccine as follows:
  • Under written order by physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Licensed supervising physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife, as applicable, must be onsite

Pharmacists, Pharmacy Interns, and Pharmacy Technicians

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​Pharmacist

Board of Pharmacy

BPC §§ 4052(a)(11) & 4052.8(a)

16 CCR § 1746.4 (PDF)

Federal HHS Resources:
 Tenth Amendment to Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID–19 (PDF)


Staffing Ratio of Pharmacists to Intern Pharmacists and General Supervision – Immunizations – BPC section 4114 (ca.gov)


Under Standard Practice:

  • May independently initiate and administer vaccines approved or authorized by FDA and ACIP vaccines to persons ages three years and older.
  • May administer immunizations to all ages pursuant to a protocol with a prescriber.
  • Must be certified in basic life support and complete a CDC- or Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)-endorsed immunization training program that includes a hands-on component.

Under BOP Waiver through May 28, 2023:

  • Pharmacists engaged exclusively in initiating and administering vaccines may have an additional two intern pharmacists under the general supervision of a pharmacist at the discretion of the supervising pharmacist. 



​Pharmacy Intern

Board of Pharmacy

BPC § 4114

Federal HHS Resource:
Tenth Amendment to Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID–19 (PDF)

 

Staffing Ratio of Pharmacists to Intern Pharmacists and General Supervision – Immunizations – BPC section 4114 (ca.gov)


Under Standard Practice:

  • May perform all functions of a pharmacist at the discretion of and under the direct supervision and control of a pharmacist

Under BOP Waiver until May 28, 2023, and potentially under PREP Act*:

  • May administer COVID-19 and influenza vaccines in association with a state, local, or institutional vaccination effort;
  • Must be trained in administering vaccines, as determined by the student's school or training program;
  • Must complete the CDPH-prescribed immunization training programs;
  • Must have documentation of an observation period by a currently-practicing healthcare professional experienced in administering intramuscular injections, for whom administering vaccines is within their ordinary scope of practice, and who confirms competency of the student in administering the vaccine;
  • When administering vaccine, must be supervised by a currently-practicing healthcare professional who is experienced in administering intramuscular injections;
  • Must be certified in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
  • Supervisor must comply with federal and state recordkeeping and reporting requirements; 
  • Must comply with applicable requirements of the CDC COVID-19 vaccine provider agreement; and,
  • Vaccine must be administered in accordance with applicable FDA emergency use authorization or license.​



Pharmacy Technician

Board of Pharmacy
See note below.*

Emergency Medical Personnel​

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​Paramedic 
(for EMT see below)

Emergency Medical Services Authority

Scope of Practice Document from EMSA, page 54 (PDF)

  • During a public health emergency.

  • Requires approval by the director of the local EMS agency.

EMTs

Emergency Medical Services Authority

Policy Update: Administration of Vaccinations and Testing by EMS Personnel (PDF)​


  • Director of EMSA has authority to implement additions to local optional scopes of practice, including EMT scope of practice, when approved by the local EMS agency.

Dentists, Dental Students, and Dental Hygienists

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​​Dentists

Dental Board of California

BPC § 1625.6


  • May independently prescribe and administer influenza and COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized by the FDA in compliance with ACIP to persons age 3 years and older

  • Must complete an immunization training program biennially offered by CDC or through a registered provider approved by the Dental Board. 

  • Must comply with federal and state recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

  • Vaccine must be administered in accordance with any applicable FDA emergency use authorization.

Dental Students

Dental Board of California
See note below.*

​​​Registered Dental Hygienists

Dental Hygiene Board of California

See note below.*

Optometrists and Optometry Students

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​​Optometrists

Optometry Board of California

 

Business and Professions Code Sections 3041 and 3041.5.​


  • May independently prescribe and administer influenza, herpes zoster virus, pneumococcus, and COVID-19 vaccines to persons age 18 years and older.
  • Must hold a valid Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents (TPA) certificate
  • Must complete an application for an immunization certificate on a board approved form and pay the fee.
  • Must be certified in basic life support and complete a CDC- or ACPE-endorsed training that includes the recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines, hands-on injection technique, and clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of vaccines (see Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery training for an example of qualifying training).
  • Must comply with federal and state recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

  • Vaccine must be administered in accordance with any applicable FDA emergency use authorization or license.​

​Optometry Students

Optometry Board of California

See note below.*

Podiatrists and Podiatry Students

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​Podiatrists

Podiatric Medical Board

BPC § 2473

  • May independently prescribe and administer influenza and COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized by the FDA in compliance with ACIP to persons age 3 years and older.

  • Must complete an immunization training program biennially offered by CDC or through a registered provider approved by the Podiatric Medical Board.

  • Must comply with federal and state recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

  • Vaccine must be administered in accordance with any applicable FDA emergency use authorization or license.

Podiatry Students

Podiatric Medical Board

BPC § 2476


  • When performing at an approved school and under the supervision of a physician and surgeon, whenever prescribed as part of the course of study.

See note below.*


​Respiratory Care Practitioners and Respiratory Care Students

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​Respiratory Care Practitioner

Respiratory Care Board of California 

BPC §§ 3702 & 3703

16 CCR § 1399.364


  • Under supervision of medical director in accordance with physician order

See note below.*


Respiratory Care Practitioner Students

Respiratory Care Board of California 

BPC § 3741 & 3742


  • When enrolled in an approved respiratory care training program, during the period of clinical training, when services are incidental to the course of study, and under direct supervision of licensed respiratory care practitioner.

See note below.*


Psychiatric Technicians and Students

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

​Psychiatric Technician

Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians

BPC §§ 4502.1 & 4502.3

  • When working in a mental health facility or developmental disability facility and prescribed by a physician and surgeon.

  • On a patient with a mental illness or developmental disability, upon standing orders of a supervising physician and surgeon or pursuant to written guidelines adopted by a hospital or medical group with whom the supervising physician and surgeon is associated.

​Psychiatric Technician Students

Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians

BPC § 4509.5

  • Only when pursuant to a course of training for licensure as a psychiatric technician in a Board-approved school.

Veterinarians and Veterinary Students

​​Licensee

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

Veterinarians and Veterinary Students​

Veterinary Medical Board

See note below.*

Individuals with An Inactive, Expired, Or Lapsed License As A Physician and Surgeon, Registered Nurse, Pharmacist, Midwife, Respiratory Care Practitioner, Dentist, Physician Assistant, Podiatrist, Optometrist, or Veterinarian

​​Licensee*

​Authorizing Statutes & Regulations

​Conditions for Immunizing

Individuals with an Inactive, Expired, or Lapsed License as a Physician and Surgeon, Registered Nurse, Pharmacist, Midwife, Respiratory Care Practitioner, Dentist, Physician Assistant, Podiatrist, Optometrist, or Veterinarian


See note below.*

* Interested parties may wish to evaluate the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) (PDF) ​and the public declarations issued by the Secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the PREP Act with legal counsel to determine eligibility for these licensed healthcare professionals or students to continue administering COVID-19 vaccinations beyond the standard scope of practice.

‡ Provider scope of practice issues are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Consumer Affairs. CDPH does not license these professions. CDPH defers to DCA for comprehensive, authoritative legal review of provider authority to administer vaccines.

Additional Resources:

CDPH-Prescribed Immunization Training 

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)

DCA - End of the COVID-19 State of Emergency

DCA Waivers and Guidance Documents



Last Revised: March 7, 2023




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