Dentists now give anti-COVID shots

Posted by watchmen
November 29, 2021
Posted in OPINION

Surely, doctors who expertly injects in the most sensitive part of the mouth are qualified to give the jabs in the arm.

Which is why dentists in some countries are now injecting their patients with anti-COVID vaccines.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, dentists are allowed to help in anti-COVID vaccinations – along with pharmacists, medical students and emergency medical technicians.

In the United States, dentists are allowed to give the life-saving shots in 20 states. Before the pandemic, only three American states allowed dentists to administer vaccinations.

This time, state legislatures enacted the authorization. In some states, it’s by virtue of the governor’s order.

“I feel like it’s my duty as a health care provider to do this,” says Dr. Michael Riccobene whose Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry has 38 branches in North Carolina.

Dr. Riccobene is shouldering all the cost of the vaccine chain, buying refrigerators to protect the integrity and safety of vaccines and organizing trainings for the staff in seven clinics approved to give vaccinations. Eventually all 38 locations will administer the anti-COVID shots.

Tapping the expertise of dentists will increase the reach of vaccinations, speeding up public health protection. Patients also like the convenience of getting the shots while seeing the dentist.

The states of Illinois and Minnesota have long allowed dentists to administer influenza vaccinations. Oregon became in 2019 the first American state to grant dentists broad authority to administer all vaccinations.

The idea is to increase access to “life-saving vaccines from highly trained practitioners they already know and trust,” Dr. James McMahon, Oregon Dental Association President, told ABC News.

“There is a growing recognition that policies that promote regular dental care for more Americans will translate into an overall reduction in public health expenditures,” ABC News reported.

In Japan dentists will also help in a nationwide anti-COVID vaccination program. Dentists have long been allowed to administer certain vaccinations.

Japanese nurses are also allowed to do so under the guidance of doctors. Dentists, however, are not licensed to perform vaccinations which are considered medical practices.

Unlike doctors, Japanese dentists will not be allowed to do the vaccinations in dental clinics. Instead, they will undergo training on intramuscular injections if they have no prior experience performing the procedure. They will have to state they are dentists and obtain consent from those they vaccinate.



Dr. Joseph D. Lim is the former Associate Dean of the UE College of Dentistry, former Dean of the College of Dentistry, National University, past president and honorary fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy, and honorary fellow of the Japan College of Oral Implantologists. Honorary Life Member of Thai Association of Dental Implantology. For questions on dental health, e-mail or text 0917-8591515./WDJ


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *