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Coalition Calls on Biden Administration, Governors to Authorize Oral Health Providers to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

On March 10, leading health and oral health organizations sent letters to the Biden Administration and 39 governors urging them to authorize 420,000 oral health professionals across the country to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to accelerate an end to this pandemic.   

On March 10, leading health and oral health organizations sent letters to the Biden Administration and 39 governors urging them to authorize 420,000 oral health professionals across the country to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to accelerate an end to this pandemic.

In its letter, the Oral Health Pandemic Response Workgroup asks the federal government to take certain actions to remove legal barriers that deter dental providers from choosing to participate as vaccinators, if allowed in their state. The letter also calls on the governors of those states where dental providers are currently not allowed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to include them as authorized vaccinators, thereby significantly increasing the number of authorized vaccinations. 

Currently, 26 states and territories allow dentists to administer COVID-19 tests, and 25 states allow them to administer the vaccine. Only 14 states allow dental hygienists to give the vaccine.

Oral health professionals are uniquely situated to ensure underserved communities are able to access the vaccine. This workforce – including more than 200,000 licensed dentists and more than 220,000 licensed dental hygienists – is distributed across the country in every community.

The letter, which can be found here, was sent two weeks after the United States marked 500,000 lives lost to the pandemic. Removing barriers would not only allow additional providers to join the effort to end this pandemic, it would also help save lives and set the stage for rebuilding the economy. 

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