I recently received notice of difficulties scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations appointments for health care professionals:
I had an appointment [to receive] a COVID-19 vaccine [in February] and was just notified today by Publix Pharmacy per their corporate office that frontline health care workers needed to have a Florida license number.
I tried to explain that [medical assistants] in the state of Florida are not required to have a medical license and that [medical assistants] work under the supervision of the physician.
Still, my appointment was canceled due to the fact that I do not have a state license. I have already sent an email to Publix’s customer care department and included a link that explains what a medical assistant is and does.
I am not certain if any other medical assistants (credentialed or not) have encountered this same issue with trying to obtain COVID-19 vaccination appointments as frontline health care workers at Publix or other pharmacies. I am simply passing this information on in the event that others have encountered the same issues.
This was the first medical assistant to report this issue to me, and they did all the right things. Medical assistants may use this as a model for what to do if denied the COVID-19 vaccination for not having a license number.
In this situation, medical assistants may also want to suggest to the pharmacy staff that they go to the AAMA website and navigate to the State Scope of Practice Laws webpage, where they will find the medical assisting law for all states.