The California Department of Public Health on Jan. 21 revised its COVID-19 vaccine training requirements, reducing the number of required courses dentists need to be eligible to administer the vaccine.
Dentists are now only required to complete one CDC-hosted training course consisting of three modules, instead of the previously required four courses. The modules are self-paced and now collectively take one hour to complete. The changes are a result of CDA’s advocacy work with state agencies to streamline the training process and reduce duplicative trainings to make it easier for dentists to become eligible to administer the vaccine as the state faces a shortage of vaccinators.
The free, online training modules include:
Dentists who have already completed the modules and received their certificates of completion prior to CDPH’s updated training requirements do not need to retake them.
To obtain certificates of completion for each of the three modules, dentists will need to make an account at CDC’s Training and Continuing Education Online and follow the instructions. CDA’s troubleshooting guide also offers instructions on how to obtain a certificate of completion. Dentists should keep these certificates in their records similarly to how continuing education records are stored.
While these courses do not currently count for C.E., CDA continues to advocate for all CDC courses to qualify as C.E. hours and for qualification to be retroactive for those who have already completed the training.
As of now, eligible dentists are only permitted to administer the vaccine at mass vaccination clinics, health care institutions or community sponsored clinics. It is unlikely that dentists will be able to administer vaccines from their dental offices at this time due to statewide vaccine supply shortages, storage requirements, outstanding billing questions and lack of finalized vaccine administration plans in most counties.
Upon completion of the training modules, dentists should contact their local health department for details on how to participate at vaccine clinics until CDA is able to provide additional information on the volunteer process. A statewide registry is expected to launch online within the coming weeks.
In partnership with CDPH, CDA will host a live webinar to provide an overview of the new vaccine training requirements, vaccine distribution efforts and details on how dentists can begin administering the vaccine at local vaccination clinics.
The free webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and is open to all dentists. However, registration is limited to 5,000 member participants. Questions submitted in the Q&A feature will be answered and posted to the CDA website shortly after the webinar.
C.E. credit will be available to those who attend the live webinar in its entirety. A C.E. transcript will be available to download under your cda.org account 24-48 hours after the webinar is completed.
CDA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit provides additional information on the vaccine administration process.