While at least 20 states have given dentists permission so far, the association continues to work with state dental associations to expand the number of states allowing dental vaccine administrators. 

As the American Dental Association (ADA) and state dental societies continue to advocate for states giving dentists permission to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, at least 20 states have so far done so, including Alabama, California, New York, Ohio, Washington, and Colorado. 

“As part of its ongoing COVID-19 vaccine strategy, the ADA supports recognizing dentists as vaccine providers,” ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, DDS, MS, told ADA News. “Having dentists administer vaccines in their communities helps improve the public vaccination rate, and it relieves some of the burden on the current vaccine provider network.”

In October, the ADA House of Delegates passed Resolution 91H-2020 which acknowledged that dentists have the requisite knowledge and skills to administer critical vaccines that prevent life- or health-threatening conditions. 

The ADA, in conjunction with the state dental societies, has developed an interactive map that provides details on dentists’ ability to administer the COVID-19 vaccination by state, as well as the phase of the state vaccination plan in which dentists will receive the COVID-19 vaccination. 

The ADA Government Affairs has advocated on behalf of members at the federal level, asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. More recently, the association’s advocacy has shifted to the state level to change laws pertaining to dentists and vaccine administration. According to David M. White, DDS, chair of the ADA Council on Government Affairs, the ADA’s state Government Affairs department provides assistance to the states on model legislation and strategy related to passing legislation.  

The ADA’s efforts include the development of a set of principles to aid state associations in advocating for this expansion of the scope of practice. These principles include participating in an online vaccination administration course, establishing patient relationships, complying with record-keeping requirements, and falling under immunity statues within the state.