The Dental Board of California is in support of dentists administering the COVID19 Vaccine after proper continuing education has been taken.
This pandemic has very obviously created a state of emergency throughout the world. We fortunately have Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in California’s possession as we proceed with phased distribution of the vaccine to the population. It has now been over a month since the emergency use authorization by the FDA for both Pfizer and Moderna. In that time, San Francisco has in particular been giving Mayor London Breed a lot of critique in her distribution of the vaccine with efficiency to residents. The general public has felt like the vaccine is present but not getting into peoples arms fast enough. Biden has stated that he believes that everyone can and will be vaccinated by this summer. How can we make this a reality? Well, dentists want to step in and get involved in the distribution.
Vaccination have not been within the scope of practice of dentists historically, therefore you do not see vaccinations for Hepatitis or the Measles in a private practice dental office. Due to the current state of emergency, the Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs has waived a code that prohibits the administration of the COVID19 vaccine by dentists if they take necessary continuing education courses, comply with federal and state record keeping of the administration of the vaccine, and administer the vaccine in line with the FDA approval for emergency usage. Dentists are more than onboard with helping during this world crisis. What are the hang ups? Communication. How do we volunteer at centers to help? Where are these centers? Is there enough vaccine? Can we open more centers? Should there not be a nerdy tech guy in this great city of San Francisco making a website to organize our healthcare providers volunteer efforts? I think so.
The only online website that I know of organizing healthcare volunteers and paid recruits to join the vaccination efforts of the state is the California Health Corps. Is there a more local Bay Area volunteer organization effort? The more local effort that I have found is the San Francisco government city website directing medical volunteers through the Department of Public Health to email this address for more information on getting involved: DHR-EVC@sfgov.org. I definitely jumped on board and emailed away. I will let you know what I hear back. So in total, I am waiting to hear back from the California Health Corps and the San Francisco Department of Public Health on their efforts to place healthcare volunteers at vaccination centers.
I think the biggest sticking point, once again, is the actual management of the distribution of the vaccine. The continuing education course takes dentists about an hour or two to complete. Dentists are well versed in giving injections as we do so in peoples mouths every day. (These injections being much more complicated than an intramuscular injection into the deltoid for the COVID19 vaccine.). Finally, I believe dentists are more than willing to help and get involved in any way that they can to help us all get through this pandemic and return to a state of social normalcy.
Have you gotten your vaccination? Hopefully if you are fortunate enough to be in one of the first phases you have scheduled your appointment. Do you live in a different state with different dental board regulations — I would love to hear from you and your perspective on what the hold up is in getting dentists the ability to administer the vaccine to increase speed of distribution. As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org