State Public Health Order Info
See how the July 26 vaccination order impacts dental practices.
The rate by which dentists are receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations varies widely across the state, depending on county-level distribution. Below is an overview of California’s vaccine administration plan, what is known about local logistics for vaccinating dental team members and CDA’s ongoing advocacy efforts.
As a result of recent CDA advocacy efforts and in a move to address the state’s shortage of health care providers eligible to administer COVID-19 vaccines, the Department of Consumer Affairs approved a public health emergency waiver that will allow dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines to people age 16 and over.
CDA continues to advocate for partnership with dentistry when establishing mass vaccination clinics and to ensure that dentists that begin administering the vaccine are vaccinated themselves first.
Dentists already have the ability to practice outside of their traditional scope of practice during declared states of emergency under the direction of government entities. The DCA waiver establishes the necessary training dentists must complete through the CDC that is specific to vaccine administration, contraindications and adverse reactions.
The required trainings, totaling three hours, are free and self-paced:
While the trainings do not currently count toward continuing education requirements, CDA is working with the Legislature to not only make the scope expansion permanent, but also to have the CDC courses retroactively count towards C.E. renewal requirements.
California is currently in the process of providing the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals within Phase 1a. This phase includes 3 million people and is divided into three tiers, with dentists falling in Phase 1a Tier 3. The vaccination plan for Phase 1a, including all tiers therein, has been finalized and is not subject to change. The state anticipates receiving enough vaccines to give everyone in Phase 1a their first dose by the end of January.
Vaccine distribution plans are determined by each local health department, which are largely county-by-county, however there are a few jurisdictions that run on city lines including Berkeley, Long Beach and Pasadena. Local dental societies have delivered letters to all public health officers within their component region to determine logistical details including: what the vaccine distribution plan will look like, how dentists and team members will be contacted once the vaccine is available to them and where vaccination sites will be located. Dental societies with appropriate space have also offered their offices as a vaccine clinic location for dental staff in the area. Copies of those letters can be found here and here.
Responses to dental component inquiries among counties vary widely. Some have invited dental society representatives to serve on taskforces while others have provided boilerplate responses or nothing at all.CDA has also communicated with the governor’s office asking for its reinforcement of effective distribution and communication by counties.
Some dentists have already received their first vaccine dose while others live in local health jurisdictions that have not vaccinated individuals in Tiers 1 and 2 yet. There are several factors that determine how quickly a local health department can vaccinate individuals in Phase 1a, including:
Dentists can find the latest updates on vaccine developments in the CDA newsroom.