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Governor Northam Signs Emergency Legislation to Allow Dentists to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine in Virginia

Governor Northam has signed emergency legislation – supported by the VDA – to allow dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in Virginia. Because it’s emergency legislation, it goes into effect immediately on the Governor’s signature. 

Dentists who want to serve as vaccine administrators should:

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

This legislation does not entitle dentists to receive access to supplies of vaccine or guarantee that dentists who sign up will fill roles as vaccinators – it requires 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. It requires VDH 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. The legislation also provides civil and criminal immunity to individuals and professional entities acting pursuant to the bill.

In early January, the VDA and VDHA sent a letter urging the Governor’s administration to use its authority to allow dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.  

VDA President Dr. Frank Iuorno, Jr. and immediate past president Dr. Elizabeth Reynolds joined a group of bipartisan legislators in Richmond in January as they unveiled this emergency legislation that would expand the pool of vaccinators for the COVID-19 vaccine to dentists and dental students. 

WATCH: VDA President Dr. Frank Iuorno, Jr. Speaks at Bipartisan Vaccine Press Conference

Dr. Iuorno and the VDA have also urged state vaccine coordinator Dr. Danny Avula to allow more flexibility to healthcare personnel, including dentists, to assist the vaccine effort. 

The VDA will provide further updates on the implementation of this legislation as we get more information, and we will continue to advocate for a streamlined, efficient process for dentists to be able to offer their help. 

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