Virginia dentists now able to administer COVID-19 vaccine after Governor Northam signs emergency legislation

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Posted at 12:45 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 16:36:36-05

Governor Northam signed an emergency legislation, which was supported by the VDH, to allow dentists and other health care professions, to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, effective immediately.

The legislation does not entitle dentists to receive access to supplies of vaccine or guarantee that dentists who sign up will fill roles as vaccinators. The legislation does require VDH to establish a process to allow dentists and other qualified health care professionals to administer the vaccine and to be called on as needed to support the vaccination effort.

VDH is required to establish a process for medical care facilities like dental offices to register as a site that could be approved for COVID-19 vaccine administration.

Virginia dentists have already been preparing, according to the Virginia Dental Association, which represents more than 3,900 member dentists across the Commonwealth.

In early January, the Virginia Dental Association and VDHA sent a letter urging Northam to allow dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

The VDA says they will provide further updates on how the legislation will be implemented.

Senate Bill 1445, sponsored by Senator Siobhan S. Dunnavant (R-Henrico) and House Bill 2333, sponsored by Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Richmond) would permit any qualified and available health care provider in Virginia to volunteer to administer COVID-19 vaccines. The bill also permits localities with fire departments, emergency medical services departments, and volunteer rescue squads to establish and staff vaccine administration clinics.

Dentists and dental students in good academic standing will be able to volunteer at vaccination events throughout the state, and more easily be able to offer space to host vaccination clinics.

Dentists who want to serve as vaccine administrators should:

  1. Register with VDH by filling out a provider intent form here.
  2. Register and update your information with the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps here
  3. Complete the provider education trainings available on the VDH website by clicking here

“Virginia Dental Association member dentists are eager to step up and help with the COVID-19 vaccine effort. As additional COVID-19 vaccines become available, the ability to include dentists in local rollout plans gives Health Districts one more tool to accelerate distribution," VDA President Dr. Frank Iuorno said. "Dentists are highly-trained and likely give more injections than any other health care professional.”

For updates, sign up for text alerts here or by texting “VDA” to 52886.