CDA advocacy placed California ahead of the curve for enabling dentists to vaccinate individuals against COVID-19 when the Department of Consumer Affairs granted a public health emergency waiver on Jan. 4. Other states soon followed, passing legislation or issuing waivers and governors’ executive orders that allow dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccines as they become more widely available. As of today, 28 states now allow dentists to temporarily administer the vaccine during the ongoing public health emergency.
And with the vaccine supply increasing and President Joe Biden’s announcement that all adults in the U.S. would be eligible for vaccination by May 1, the Biden administration recently authorized dentists and other providers nationwide to join vaccination efforts.
CDA member dentists spoke with media outlets in recent weeks about their volunteer work and the unique skills they bring to the state’s ongoing vaccination efforts.
Read what they had to say:
“We have, in our arsenal of training, a wide variety of methods and techniques available to alleviate fear while giving an injection,” said Hoa Nguyen, DDS, who practices in Chula Vista. “In fact, I have had many returning vaccinated patients requesting to have ‘the dentist’ administer their second dose.” – Read the full story at Verywell Health
"It’s funny. When patients come in, they say, I didn't even know I could get it at the dental office," said Alex Denes, DDS, who has a practice in Fresno. He hopes by offering his services more local dentists will join him in volunteering to administer the shot. “We built an online scheduling system that anybody can use so we're vaccinating patients and non-patients as well.” – Read the full story at ABC 30 – Fresno
“I vaccinate between 70 and 100 people,” said Hoa Nguyen, DDS. “Professionally, I feel that it’s our duty. Personally, it’s gratifying to be able to help someone. This is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my career.” – Read the full story at ABC 10 San Diego
The federal declaration to expand vaccinator eligibility added dental students to the list of qualified professionals who can serve as vaccinators if they receive proper training and have professional supervision.
CDA is currently working with the governor’s office and the Department of Consumer Affairs to determine what, if any, additional California-specific training requirements dental students will need to complete before beginning to administer COVID-19 vaccines.