House Bill 244 to allow paramedics to give flu shots

By MARC KOVAC Dix Capital Bureau Published:

COLUMBUS-- The Ohio House has OK'd legislation that would allow certain paramedics to give flu shots to other emergency responders.

House Bill 244 passed on a vote of 91-0 and heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

The legislation would enable the medical director or physician-advisory boards of emergency medical-service organizations to designate emergency-medical technicians to administer influenza immunizations to firefighters or other EMTs. Existing state law prohibits such a move.

Participating boards would be required to establish written guidelines for the immunizations and provide notice to local and state health offices.

Rep. Kristina Roegner, a Republican from Hudson and primary co-sponsor of the legislation, said the "common sense" law changes would help local governments manage their immunization costs.

"Currently, they have to schedule an outside contractor [to provide flu vaccines]," Roegner said. "It's much more expensive, and it's inconvenient."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau chief. E-mail him a mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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