Senator PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Authorizes optometrists to administer immunizations against coronaviruses and influenza under certain circumstances.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on March 9, 2021, with amendments.
An Act concerning optometrists, amending R.S.45:12-1, and supplementing chapter 12 of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. R.S.45:12-1 is amended to read as follows:
45:12-1. Optometry is hereby declared to be a profession, and the practice of optometry is defined to be the employment of objective or subjective means, or both, for the examination of the human eye and adnexae for the purposes of ascertaining any departure from the normal, measuring its powers of vision and adapting lenses or prisms for the aid thereof, or the use and prescription of pharmaceutical agents, excluding injections, except for injections to counter anaphylactic reaction [;] , and excluding controlled dangerous substances as provided in sections 5 and 6 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-5 and C.24:21-6), except as otherwise authorized by section 9 of P.L.1991, c.385 (C.45:12-9.11), for the purposes of treating deficiencies, deformities, diseases, or abnormalities of the human eye and adnexae, including the removal of superficial foreign bodies from the eye and adnexae. The practice of optometry shall include the administration of immunizations 1against coronaviruses and influenza1 by any route or modality, provided that administration of the immunization is consistent with recommendations issued by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and complies with the requirements of section 2 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).
An optometrist utilizing pharmaceutical agents for the purposes of treatment of ocular conditions and diseases shall be held to a standard of patient care in the use of such agents commensurate to that of a physician utilizing pharmaceutical agents for treatment purposes.
A person shall be deemed to be
practicing optometry within the meaning of this chapter who in any way
advertises himself as an optometrist, or who shall employ any means for the
measurement of the powers of vision or the adaptation of lenses or prisms for
the aid thereof, practice, offer or attempt to practice optometry as herein
defined, either on his own behalf or as an employee or student of another, whether
under the personal supervision of his employer or perceptor or not, or to use
testing appliances for the purposes of measurement of the powers of vision or
diagnose any ocular deficiency or deformity, visual or muscular anomaly of the
eye and adnexae or prescribe lenses, prisms or ocular exercise for the correction or the relief thereof, or who uses or prescribes pharmaceutical agents for the purposes of diagnosing and treating deficiencies, deformities, diseases or abnormalities of the human eye and adnexae or who holds himself out as qualified to practice optometry.
(cf: P.L.2017, c.28, s.16)
2. (New section) a. (1) 1[Except as provided in] Subject to the provisions of1 paragraph (2) of this subsection, an optometrist shall 1[not] be authorized to1 administer immunizations 1[except] against coronaviruses and influenza1 upon certification from the New Jersey State Board of Optometrists that the optometrist has met any training and qualification requirements as are established by the board by rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).
(2) The New Jersey State Board of Optometrists may certify an optometrist to administer immunizations 1against a coronavirus or influenza1 during a public health emergency 1involving an outbreak or epidemic of a coronavirus or influenza1 declared pursuant to the “Emergency Health Powers Act,” P.L.2005, c.222 (C.26:13-1 et seq.), regardless of whether the board has adopted rules and regulations implementing the provisions of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). 1The authority to administer immunizations under the provisions of this paragraph shall be limited to administering immunizations against the specific disease for which the public health emergency was declared. All other immunizations shall be subject to the requirements of paragraph (1) of this section.1
b. 1[(1)]1 An optometrist shall not administer an immunization 1against a coronavirus or influenza pursuant to this section1 to any patient who is younger than 18 years of age 1[unless administration of the immunization to the patient is authorized by the patient’s parent or legal guardian.
(2) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, an optometrist may administer the influenza immunization to any patient who is seven years of age or older, and may administer any immunization to any patient who is 10 years of age or older. An optometrist shall not administer any immunization to a patient who is younger than seven years of age]1 .
c. An immunization 1against
a coronavirus or influenza1
administered to a patient by an optometrist 1under this section1 shall
be reported by the optometrist to the New Jersey Immunization Information
System established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.2004, c.138 (C.26:4-134) for
inclusion in the patient’s registry.
3. The New Jersey State Board of Optometrists shall adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), as shall be necessary to implement the provisions of this act.
4. This act shall take effect immediately.