An ADA Clinical Evaluators Panel survey finds, however, that lack of education and training and financial resources are preventing dentists, whose states allow them to do so, from administering vaccines in their practices.
An American Dental Association (ADA) Clinical Evaluators Panel survey found that more than half (55%) of respondents would be willing to administer influenza or COVID-19 vaccines in their practice setting. At present, however, only 2% of respondents reported that they administer vaccines in their practices, despite the fact that many states permit dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, 42% reported that they were not aware of which vaccines their state permits them to deliver.
The survey, which is published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, also asked respondents what they needed to overcome vaccine administration barriers. Respondents listed access to training or education in safe vaccine delivery and adverse events, financial support to purchase necessary storage equipment, and access to protocols for handling vaccines.
A large majority of respondents (91%) further indicated that the dental hygienist should be involved in vaccine administration in certain capacities. A third of respondents indicated that dental hygienists should be the ones to administer vaccines.
In terms of patient education on vaccines, 31% of respondents reported that they are currently providing patient education, while 35% said they aren’t currently providing patient education but are considering it. The remaining 34% do not currently provide patient education and do not plan to do so in the future.
The ADA Clinical Evaluators (ACE) Panel is a network of participating ADA members who want to learn more from one another and share clinical insights and experiences that are used to build science content focused on dental materials and clinical-based research. The panel deployed the survey to its 989 members; 330 ACE panel members responded to the survey.