With pharma giants like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson releasing COVID-19 vaccinations, people are lining up to receive the doses. To meet vaccination demands, we need a greater medical workforce to help administer the vaccine to every citizen. One easy way of fulfilling this demand is by authorizing dentists and other health professionals to vaccinate people everywhere.
Dentists Should Receive Authorization to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines
Dentists are asking for vaccination priority and even offering to help administer the shots. According to ADA President, Daniel J. Klemmedson, dentists already have the prerequisite knowledge and skills to administer vaccines and track side effects.
Dentists administer more injections than their medical counterparts. In fact, in 2017, 31.1 million patients sought care from their dentist and not the physician. This makes dental visits a great opportunity for vaccination.
Despite this, not all states had given dentists the green light to administer the vaccination. Some of the states that allowed dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine include:
- New England
- South Carolina
The U.S. Authorizes Additional Providers to Administer Vaccination
In order to ramp up the vaccination efforts, countries like the United States and Canada are authorizing additional health providers to vaccinate the masses. On Friday, March 12, the White House released a statement authorizing dentists, nurses, medical students, nursing students, midwives, and even veterinarians to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Before that, the Biden administration also announced plans to increase the number of community health centers giving vaccines to 950.
The goal to achieve large-scale vaccination and increase eligibility and vaccination supply is met by amending the emergency declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is amending the PREP Act to authorize additional providers to vaccinate patients for COVID-19.
Various Healthcare Professionals in B.C. to Help Administer COVID-19 Vaccine
As British Columbia draws closer to its mass vaccination rollout, a wide range of healthcare professionals are authorized to provide COVID-19 immunization. In February, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer, issued an order to allow dentists, midwives, pharmacy technicians, paramedics, retired nurses, and many other professions to assist in administering vaccines at clinics.
The order lists specific requirements, including the approval of the immunization program by the medical health officer of that geographic area. It states the required mandatory training and specific limits for the different health professions.
There will be 715 full-time immunizers across 172 vaccination sites to administer about 100,000 doses during the peak immunization capacity. The immunizers will be seeing 140 patients every day to administer the doses. Over the next six months, all the available workforce will be efficiently administering to as many people as they can.
The current phase of the vaccination plan, set to conclude at the end of March, includes B.C.’s most vulnerable groups and the frontline workers. The mass vaccination drive is set to begin in April. As of April 17, 2021, 25% of the population in B.C. has received their first dose of vaccines. For more updated numbers, visit this Canada’s official COVID link. B.C. residents will soon be able to receive vaccine shots at their dentists’ offices, with various healthcare professionals getting authorized to administer the vaccine.