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The MDS Adopts Policy Regarding Dentists Administering Vaccines, Including COVID-19

December 10, 2020 – The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Board of Trustees has adopted the American Dental Association policy on vaccines, including—when it becomes available—a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19. The adopted resolution states that dentists have the requisite knowledge and skills to administer critical vaccines that prevent life- or health-threatening conditions and protect the life and health of patients and staff at the point of care.

Three generic vaccine vialsSimilar to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, during which Massachusetts dentists and other health care providers were granted temporary approval to administer the vaccine to help prevent further infections, the MDS Board supports the recent decision by Marylou Sudders, secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth, and the Baker Administration that allows dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

“As fellow health care professionals, we believe dentists are in an ideal position to help support hospitals and primary care physicians through the COVID-19 pandemic by administering vaccines to our patients, colleagues, and staff,” said MDS President Dr. MaryJane Hanlon. “This is, in part, an effort to reduce the burden on frontline workers and help the Commonwealth recover as quickly as possible.”

Allowing dental professionals to administer vaccines does not mean any individual dentist would be required to do so if he or she is not able or willing. Specific training will be provided to any dentist who opts in. Details regarding distribution priority, cost, and reimbursement are yet to be determined.

Watch MDS President Dr. MaryJane Hanlon discuss this on Boston 25 News.