Does My Pharmacy Insurance Cover Vaccinations?
Caeva O'Callaghan | April 5th, 2022
In these extraordinary times, you may be facing challenges you might not have expected. But is your pharmacy covered for administering vaccinations?
Yes – your pharmacy professional indemnity insurance (which you really need to have) will cover this under the Patient Care section.
Vaccination cover is important now, more than ever. While GP’s have shouldered most of the responsibility for vaccinating the general public, pharmacists have a major role to play in administering vaccinations.
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
- How do pharmacists handle COVID-19 vaccinations?
- What is professional indemnity insurance?
- Does my insurance cover mobile vaccinations?
How do pharmacists handle COVID-19 vaccinations?
Community pharmacists have already made a significant contribution in managing the public health crisis since COVID-19 hit our shores in the spring of 2020. They play a key role in the delivery of the vaccination program and help the HSE maximise delivery capacity.
The Pharmacy Regulator has released useful guidelines for pharmacies who find themselves administering jabs to the general public, which can be viewed here.
Of course, there are some general guidelines to follow when giving vaccinations, and some of those are meant to specifically help reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include:
- Adhering to social distancing, respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and hand hygiene
- Environmental cleaning
- Optimising natural ventilation
Are you considering offering COVID-19 vaccinations to your customers? Before you decide to provide a vaccination service, you should carry out a risk assessment in your pharmacy to see if your premises are suitable.
For example, when making adaptations to your service, including those to facilitate social distancing, you need to consider the patient’s privacy and dignity and ensure that confidential and personal information cannot be overheard by others. Does your pharmacy have enough room for this to be possible?
What is professional indemnity insurance?
Professional indemnity insurance will cover you while administering COVID-19 vaccinations. If you accidentally give the wrong vaccination or the wrong dose and a customer takes an action against you, your professional indemnity policy will take over the defence of the case as well as any compensation awarded to your customer.
If you have a standard pharmacy insurance policy, it will not cover professional indemnity as a matter of course. In fact, most retail policies specifically exclude dispensing risk. Having a separate professional indemnity policy plugs up this gap and makes sure you’re operating safely.
It is a requirement that you have professional indemnity cover in place when you run a pharmacy. If you do not have the right insurance, and you’re caught dispensing medication, you could lose your business and a lot more.
Note that professional indemnity insurance only covers you in the event of a professional pharmacist’s mistake, including locums. If another one of your employees, such as your cleaner or security guard, gives out the wrong medicine or bad advice then your insurance will not cover you.
Professional indemnity Insurance is probably the most important insurance policy pharmacists can have.
Does my insurance cover mobile vaccinations?
If you plan on performing mobile vaccinations – in nursing homes or schools, for example – then you need to tell your provider this is happening. They will be able to extend your public liability on your shop policy.
Public liability is a very important part of any pharmacy insurance. This type of cover will protect your business when you have accidentally brought harm to a third party or their property, which is especially important when working somewhere other than your own premises.
For example, if someone trips and falls inside your shop, your public liability would cover you for the damages. But if you’re administering vaccinations inside a nursing home, and accidentally step on a resident’s handbag and smash a bottle of perfume that’s inside, your public liability insurance would cover the cost of dry cleaning or replacement.
As a pharmacist or employee covered under the public liability section of your business’s policy, protection is provided against liability to pay sums or compensation arising from any claims while you are insured. Your insurance provider will help you cover legal defence costs as well as any expenses resulting from the investigation or settlement of claims.
Give our pharmacy insurance experts a call with any of your queries. We look forward to helping you today
All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.