In October 2020, the American Dental Association passed a resolution (91H-2020) which states that dentists have the “knowledge and skills to administer critical vaccinations that prevent life- or health-threatening conditions”. ADA president, Daniel J. Klemmedson believes, and dentists agree, that enlisting these professionals greatly increases the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations. Governor Gavin Newsom gave the okay for dentists in California to distribute the vaccine, in response to the low rate of inoculations there. At that time only 454,000 vaccine doses had been administered in California. One month later, close to 5 million doses have been given in the state. Dentists in at least 20 states have also begun distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dentists are excited to do their part in the vaccine rollout, and believe their long-standing patient relationships and expertise in giving injections makes them more than qualified to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Unlike other health care providers, dentists give injections in the mouth, which requires navigating the tongue, bone and ligament. The training dental professionals are receiving will increase their capability, as they learn immunization best practices, vaccine safety, how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work, and how to properly transport and store them.
While dentists around the country increasingly step up to bat in the fight against COVID-19, they aren’t administering the vaccine from their offices just yet. Instead, they are participating in events like the “mega pods” happening in various cities around the country, where upwards of 35,000 people are vaccinated each week. Aside from mega pods and other events, dentists who work for the Veteran’s Administration and at federally funded health care centers (in underserved communities) are also administering the vaccine.
The California Dental Association is taking key steps in preparation for the time when dentists are able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine from their own offices. For starters, the CDA is using its influence to ensure that dentists are protected from COVID-19 infection by advocating for them to receive the vaccine before they begin administering it to others. They are also providing contact information to help health departments notify dentists when vaccine doses are available for distribution. The CDA worked with Henry Schein, a global distributor of healthcare products and services, to deliver a proposal which would enable the company to become the administrator for vaccine registration and second dose tracking. The dental association is also looking at best practices for scheduling vaccination appointments, to ensure a smooth flow of patients. State dental associations, along with the ADA ultimately want dentists to be viewed as integral to the COVID-19 vaccination effort, and health care in general.
DeltaTrak stands ready to provide the data loggers that dentists and other health care professionals need to transport and store COVID-19 vaccine doses. Our vast array of vaccine temperature monitoring products offers peace of mind during a time when peace is hard to come by. For more information, contact your dedicated sales professional or call 1-800-962-6776.