House passes bills on alcohol delivery, COVID-19 vaccine administration

    The interior of the Iowa Capitol dome. (Creative Commons photo via Pxhere)

    The Iowa House passed a bill Wednesday afternoon allowing pharmacists to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine and one facilitating third-party alcohol delivery.

    Pharmacist can give COVID-19 vaccines, other medical care

    The House voted 89-2 to add to Iowa Code that pharmacists may administer the COVID-19 vaccine to patients over 18. Pharmacists are already authorized to issue FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccinations under guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Senate File 296, as amended by the House, would also allow pharmacists to do testing and treatment for COVID-19, the flu or strep throat, as well as testing in response to a public health emergency, for anyone 6 or older. If a pharmacy wanted to provide additional services not codified, they would have the option to create a “collaborative pharmacy practice” by partnering with another pharmacist or medical practitioner.

    Rep. Ann Meyer, a registered nurse, said the bill would help to eliminate health care deserts in rural Iowa.

    “We know that 91% of Americans live within 5 miles of a pharmacy,” Meyer, R-Fort Dodge, said.

    The amended version of the bill will travel back to the Senate for approval.

    Alcohol deliveries wouldn’t threaten liquor license

    The House also approved House File 766, a bill that would allow third-party delivery of alcohol in Iowa. Lawmakers amended the bill Wednesday to clarify that the liquor permit of the establishment wouldn’t be in jeopardy if the delivery went wrong through no fault of the restaurant or bar.

    Rep. Mike Sexton said the bill could help Iowans stay home as the pandemic continues and could potentially assuage employee shortages in the state.

    “These are the little things we do that I think … make life better for Iowans,” Sexton, R-Rockwell City, said.

    Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, D-Windsor Heights, said she hoped to see more third-party delivery services introduce policies to ensure alcohol was delivered safely and only to of-age individuals.

    The House voted 88-3 to pass the legislation, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

    Katie Akin
    Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.