On October 19th, the ADA House of Delegates passed a resolution supporting dentists in administering vaccines – including one or more COVID-19 vaccines when approved and available.
Resolution 91H-2020 states that “dentists have the requisite knowledge and skills to administer critical vaccines that prevent life- or health-threatening conditions and protect the life and health of patients and staff at the point of care.”
The resolution “aligns with the ADA policy approved by the House of Delegates in 2018 that supports the use and administration of the human papillomavirus vaccine…”
If Pharmacists, Why Not Dentists?
Flu shots are readily obtainable in many pharmacies across the country. The ADA argues that dentists – almost all of whom routinely administer intraoral and extraoral injections, and many of whom are permitted to use BOTOX injections and to start IV’s for dental sedation – already possess the requisite skills.
Expanding access to vaccines via dentists would speed the process of immunizing a larger portion of the population. And while the article doesn’t mention this point, it could also work to reassure hesitant patients that dental practices are safe places. Presumably, dentists would be free to administer vaccines to team members as well as patients. “Every one of our people is vaccinated” could serve to differentiate a dental practice from its competitors.
It’s Not A Right-Now Thing, But Keep It In Mind
It’s likely that one or more COVID-19 vaccines will be approved and available in 2021. At that point, speeding the administration of the vaccines will be paramount. If you and your practice are prepared in advance to provide the injections, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Since state regulations vary, be sure to check yours to ensure that you’re in position to help your patients, your team members, and your city or town when authorization is given.
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