As the country expands vaccine access, the federal government is asking for more professionals to help administer the vaccine, including dentists.
Dental professionals are now authorized to administer the COVID-19 vaccine as the government gears up the vaccine rollout. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is modifying its emergency declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Act to accommodate the plan.
The government recently said it will expand the pool of qualified individuals who can help get more shots into arms. While dental professionals in 28 states are already administering the vaccine, the national authorization allows a far greater number of dental professionals to lend a helping hand in effort to beat the virus through the shot. Midwives, EMTs, physician assistants, veterinarians and other health professionals are also qualified under the declaration. Every adult is expected to be eligible for the vaccine by May 1, so the added help couldn’t have come at a better time.
Before dentists can begin administering the vaccines to patients, however, they must complete a training program from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the order. The training course can be found here.
The American Dental Association pushed for liability protection and supported the plan. The declaration gives designated vaccine providers temporary immunity from some claims.
The association argued that dental professionals are already equipped with the medical knowledge and experience to administer the vaccine into arms. Dentists are trained to inject patients inside the mouth and also administer intraoral local anesthesia so they are more than qualified in this endeavor.
To learn more about the vaccination, the American Dental Association created a fact sheet for the dental industry here. The association will continue to stay up to date on developments regarding vaccine authorization to keep practices and the public informed.