Dental Professionals Could Help in Distributing Covid19 Vaccine
As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the U.S., many people continue to worry and are anxious about their overall health. There are countries, states, and towns that remain under enhanced status, the level of lockdown fear and frustration also remains high. It’s no wonder that all healthcare sectors are looking for ways to assist – hence the question, “Can dentists administer covid vaccines?”
Dental patients are now also concerned about their oral health. Many of them know that oral health is a critical component of general health; confusion and fear caused by the pandemic should not prevent people from continuing to seek oral preventive care.
And now that the COVID19 vaccine is heading towards its distribution, many people want to know if dentists can administer COVID vaccines to their patients.
In previous years, dental health providers have participated in administering vaccines during significant virus outbreaks and other health emergencies.
Illinois and Minnesota already allow dentists to administer certain types of flu vaccines.
In 2019, Oregon passed a law permitting dentists to administer vaccines more broadly. Simultaneously, the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners approved a change to consent dentists last month to help the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dental associations and organizations such as the American Dental Association and the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement and Catalyst Institute earnestly persuade states to allow dental practitioners to administer the COVID-19 vaccine as part of their distribution plans.
Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, President and CEO for the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement and Catalyst Institut, said:
“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 can receive the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible.”
While the American Dental Association stated that dentists are well-trained health care professionals who can legally administer critical vaccines, mainly to prevent life or health-threatening conditions. That they are entitled to protect the life and health of patients and staff at the point of care. That is according to a resolution passed by the ADA House of Delegates on Oct. 19.
In California, dentists aren’t licensed and are not permitted to administer vaccines, but they have been called to that duty in other states.
CDA President Dr. Richard Nagy said other than hospital staff, dentists are at the top of a shortlist of professionals qualified to administer the vaccine.
“We are highly trained to give injections. We do it every day in one of the toughest areas, the mouth,” Dr. Nagy said.
California has more than 36,000 dentists, and according to Dr. Nagy, people are more likely to visit a dentist than another doctor in a year.
According to the American Dental Association, a growing number of patients are returning to the dentist for routine care. Data shows that dentists may be able to reach even more people than traditional doctors. About 9% of Americans would rather see a dentist than a physician.
Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan from DentaQuest Partnership also said approximately more than 18 million people visit their dentist every year but not a primary care physician or other medical professionals.
This fact shows that dental professionals, especially those operating in community health care, serve as an essential point of access for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Several states in the U.S. are now set to provide updated COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans to the CDC. The DentaQuest Partnership and the American Dental Association are urging all states to include dental providers in these plans.
Many agree that dentists could be a big help in the COVID vaccine distribution plans. Dentists in the U.S. and worldwide are more than willing to help in giving shots and handling patients.
Dentists are not allowed, at this point, to administer the vaccine to COVID. But as soon as states give dentists the green light, they could be a huge help to fight against COVID.
Can dentists administer the COVID vaccine? The answer is yes, but not yet.
You may end up getting your shot from your next dentist visit; it might be possible later to have COVID-19 vaccines available at some dentists’ clinics.
With a large number of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arriving, we will need lots of people to administer them. Hundreds of dentists are willing and ready to give the vaccines when states call them in for emergency help. Be sure to check dental clinics near you, and you may receive your COVID shot in your next dental routine care appointment.
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