UPDATE: We are overjoyed to announce that Senate Bill 669 (SB 669), which expands the ability of Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) to administer vital vaccines, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Thank you to sponsor State Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose). SB 669 will allow trained, educated and experienced RVTs to administer vaccines under the indirect (offsite) supervision of a licensed veterinarian. This legislation will allow RVTs to administer vaccine clinics, expanding access to vaccines and providing crucial services to some of California’s most vulnerable pets. 

SB 669 Will Authorize RVTs to Administer Vital Vaccines to California Pets

With a crisis-level veterinary shortage in California, the SF SPCA continues to advocate at the state level to help find solutions to our state’s dire challenges. 

The latest effort we are supporting is Senate Bill (SB) 669, which would allow registered veterinary technicians (RVTs) to administer vaccine clinics when the veterinarian is offsite. This bill is an important development that will help address access-to-care difficulties in California. 

We recently conducted a survey that found more than 344,000 animals across the state do not have adequate access to veterinary care staff. As a result, California shelters are becoming overcrowded, leading to increased cases of illnesses, and increasing stress on shelter staff and animal caregivers. 

SB 669, sponsored by Senator Dave Cortese, will authorize RVTs to administer vital vaccines to California pets in situations where this basic care is often lacking. The ability to hold basic community vaccine clinics is restricted under current law, which requires a veterinarian to be onsite. 

This legislation offers an avenue to make the most efficient use of the limited veterinarians available by allowing trained, educated and experienced RVTs to administer the vaccines under the indirect (offsite) supervision of a licensed veterinarian, freeing up the veterinarian’s time and allowing RVTs to more fully use their skill sets as well.   

These vaccine clinics operated by RVTs will provide crucial services to some of California’s most vulnerable pets. Vaccines protect against life-threatening diseases such as distemper, they help avoid costly treatments for preventable ailments and they protect against the spread of diseases found in the wild. 

Under SB 669, RVTs will collaborate closely with veterinarians, and the bill includes requirements for written protocols and informed consent. We know this practice can be done safely, and it can be done efficiently. California’s RVTs are some of the best in the country, and we have full confidence in their abilities to provide expert care using this tool. 

SB 669 has passed the State Senate and is currently making its way through the State Assembly process! We urge you to please contact your State Assembly member and ask your member to support this bill. Visit: https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov to find out who represents your Assembly district.    

Together, we can increase care and provide more resources for our pets in California. Please join us in supporting this critical piece of legislation.