States Urged to Allow Dentists to Administer Coronavirus Vaccines

Friday, 04. December 2020 17:36

Boston, Dec. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As states move to finalize their COVID-19 vaccination distribution plans, the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement is urging them to allow dentists and dental hygienists to administer the approved vaccine to patients.

On Tuesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that health care workers — including dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants — be the first to receive vaccinations once approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Once vaccinated, dental professionals can be an important distribution channel for the general public when vaccines become widely available.

Oral health providers have previously been involved in administering vaccines during significant flu outbreaks and other health emergencies. Already, states like Illinois and Minnesota allow dentists to administer flu vaccines. Oregon passed a law in 2019 permitting dentists to administer vaccines more broadly, and last month the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners approved a change to allow dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

On Friday, states are set to provide updated COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans to the CDC. The DentaQuest Partnership is urging all states to include dental providers in these plans.

The following is a statement from Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, President and CEO for the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement and Catalyst Institute, urging states to allow dental providers to administer the COVID-19 vaccine as part of their distribution plans.

“Dental professionals are essential members of our health care community, and they have the training, knowledge and capability to administer vaccinations safely to patients. We urge states to include oral health providers as part of their vaccine distribution plans to ensure people are able to receive the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible.”

Annually, more than 18 million people visit the dentist but not a primary care physician or other medical professional. Many dental professionals, especially those operating in community health care settings like Federally Qualified Health Centers, are well positioned to serve as an important public health access point for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The dental community in the early days of the pandemic came together to develop responsive safety standards and new infection control protocols that allow dental care settings to continue providing vital oral health care. Once again, the oral health community is stepping up and stands ready to assist in coronavirus vaccine distribution and administration once available to the public.

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The DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement is a nonprofit organization working to transform the broken health care system and enable better health through oral health. Through strategic grantmaking, research and care improvement initiatives, we drive meaningful change at the local, state and national levels. The DentaQuest Partnership is affiliated with DentaQuest, a leading U.S. oral health enterprise with a mission to improve the oral health of all. Find out more at www.dentaquestpartnership.org.


Kristin LaRoche
DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement
857-275-5038
kristin.laroche@improvingoralhealth.com
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