Updates on Dentists Serving as Vaccinators

Many VDA members have reached out sharing your willingness to serve as vaccinators and to assist in the massive and important effort to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in their communities. VDA members understand the importance of the vaccine and the urgency of efficiently administering the vaccine in their communities.

There will be more information to come, but we have a few updates we can share:

Executive Order

Some have asked if an executive order will be needed to call Virginia dentists to administer vaccines. We can share that no executive order will be needed as the commissioner already has the authority under the existing state of emergency to call on “non-traditional vaccinators,” a group that could include dentists. That could happen after the state and health districts maximize their use of traditional vaccinators like MDs and nurses.

What is the plan to administer the vaccine in my community?

Different health districts are implementing different plans to administer the vaccine as we get beyond the 1a priority group to the broader population. Broadly, we can say that we don’t anticipate the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed within a dental office setting in the near-term, but could see a time when dentists who volunteer to do so may be asked to assist with large vaccination drives and community health centers in their area.

What should I do now if I’m interested in administering the COVID-19 vaccine in my community?

While dentists haven’t yet been called, we encourage those with an interest to go ahead and fill out the VDH provider intent form.

We also encourage you to register with Virginia’s Medical Reserve Corps.  Each of the 22 local MRC units across Virginia are comprised of teams of medical and public health professionals who, along with interested non-medical community members, volunteer their skills, expertise and time to support ongoing public health initiatives and health emergencies throughout Virginia.

Beyond administering the vaccine, dentists can also play a role in recommending vaccination to their patients and addressing vaccine hesitancy among patients and the general public. There will be more information shared around this effort on the ADA’s COVID-19 center in the weeks ahead. 

How can I learn more about vaccination as a dentist?

VDA members are invited to join the Medical Society of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for a webinar this Thursday, January 7 to discuss the new COVID-19 vaccines, the current and emerging science and data regarding their use, and a panel discussion so the medical community of Virginia can ask their questions about these vaccines. REGISTER

An ADA webinar scheduled for Jan. 27 will discuss how dentists' work constitutes primary care and their qualifications to administer vaccines. REGISTER