CALIFORNIA—California dentists can administer the COVID-19 vaccination to their patients, including those who are 16 years old and older, according to a statement released by the State of California’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
The Department of Consumer Affairs said that during the State of Emergency, the Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs may “waive any statutory or regulatory professional licensing requirements and amend scopes of practice pertaining to individuals licensed pursuant to Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, including dentists.”
Dentists, according to the statement by the Department of Consumer Affairs, have a broad scope of practice which allows them to be able to administer the vaccine. “Business and Professions Code section 1625 provides that dentists may diagnose or treat, by surgery or other method, diseases and lesions, and they can correct malposition’s of the human teeth, alveolar process, gums, jaws, or associated structures. Such diagnosis or treatment may include all necessary related procedures as well as the use of drugs, anesthetic agents, and physical evaluation,” the statement indicated.
The Department of Consumer Affairs’ said that section 1625 is waived to the extent it forbids licensed dentists from “independently initiating and administering COVID-19 vaccines that are approved or authorized by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to persons 16 years of age or older and, in cases involving a severe allergic reaction, epinephrine or diphenhydramine by injection.”
Rachel Bluth, a correspondent for California Healthline, Tweeted, “This is something dentists have been pushing for, both within California and nationally, for a few weeks now.”
The California Dentist Association indicated in a press release that around 36,000 dentists in California would be authorized to administer the new COVID-19 vaccines if they meet the requirements of the waiver.
To meet the requirements, the statement said that dentists should complete several training courses about the COVID-19 vaccine, comply with all federal and state record-keeping and reporting requirements, such as providing documentation to the patient’s primary care provider and provide the appropriate immunization registry designated by the State Department of Public Health.
Several factors influence how soon the dentists receive vaccines, indicated the California Dentist Association, including the number of vaccines that are allocated to the local health departments, the size of the local health department region, and how many providers are eligible in a region to administer the vaccine.
The California Dentist Association said that California is not going to issue a mandate for any COVID-19 vaccine as long as they only have an Emergency Use Authorization.
More details will be given when the California Legislature convenes in mid-January.