COVID-19 (Coronavirus): How to become a vaccinator

March 30, 2021

This article was revised on March 30, 2021, to include information about the PREP Act.

​To receive or administer the COVID-19 vaccine, providers and facilities must enroll in the federal COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Vaccination providers must be credentialed/licensed in the jurisdiction where vaccination takes place, and sign and agree to the conditions in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement.

For vaccinator rules and guidance, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Providers who meet the criteria should enroll through their state or local immunization program.

On March 11, 2021, an amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act set the stage to allow other active and recently retired health care professionals to prescribe, dispense, and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Eligible professionals, in addition to physicians, registered nurses, and practical nurses, now include:

  • dentists
  • emergency medical technicians
    (advanced and intermediate)
  • medical students*
  • midwives
  • nursing students*
  • optometrists
  • paramedics
  • pharmacists
  • pharmacy interns*​
  • physician assistants
  • podiatrists
  • respiratory therapists
  • students of other health care professions*
  • veterinarians

* with supervision

States are encouraged to further expand the categories of persons authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines in their states, as authorized under the PREP Act, to respond to the local needs and availability of potential vaccinators.

Training and resources

Provider training is critical to the success of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. CDC can provide educational resources as needed.

Providers should stress the importance of scheduling a second dose (for those vaccines that require it) when patients receive their first dose. Vaccines are not interchangeable – patients must receive both doses from the same manufacturer.

Providers should complete the vaccination record card at the time of vaccination and encourage the patient to keep it in a safe place. CDC encourages providers to use their standard methods of communication – phone, text, or email – to remind patients of their scheduled second dose.

CDC has resources to help providers engage with patients who have questions about the vaccine.

Independence is committed to providing our members with access to the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage all Independence members and providers to visit our dedicated COVID-19 webpage regularly for the latest news and updates. We will continue to evaluate member needs as the situation changes.

Learn more

Read the full series to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and administration requirements.