New FDI World survey also shows that only half of the responding countries will include dental practitioners in their priority vaccination groups.
FDI World Dental Federation is calling for more countries to enable dental professionals to administer COVID-19 vaccines after a survey of its members revealed the small number of countries currently permitted to do so. The survey was facilitated by FDI’s COVID-19 Task Team.
Fifty-seven member national dental associations, from across the globe, revealed that nearly two-thirds of countries had not granted permission to dental professionals to administer COVID-19 vaccines as part of national rollouts. In Europe, countries where practitioners are not permitted to administer the vaccine include Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Slovakia, and Russia.
In France, the National Order of Dental Surgeons has called on the government to grant permission to the profession, but no authorization has been given to date. Discussions are also ongoing in Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Australia, Kenya, Hong Kong, and Germany.
“Oral health is a fundamental component of overall health and well-being and oral healthcare is an essential public service,” said Gerhard Konrad Seeberger, DMD, president of FDI World Dental Federation. “Efforts should be made to enable dental providers to administer COVID-19 vaccines when possible within national legislation and regulations, and with minimal disruption to oral healthcare services.”
According to the ADA Center for Professional Success, in the United States approximately 20 states are currently permitting practitioners to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
The FDI global survey also examined the prioritization of dental professionals in COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programs. A total 53% of responding countries said that practitioners would be included in priority vaccination groups, 12% said that they would not be, and 18% responded that the vaccination program and priority groups were still being planned. Those countries NOT including dental professionals as a priority group include Cambodia, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Thailand.