Survey finds two-thirds of countries aren’t allowing dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines

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COVID-19 vaccines
Photo: Chayatorn Laovattanavech 123RF

FDI World Dental Federation has called for more countries to enable dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines after a global survey of its members revealed the small number of countries currently permitted to do so. The survey was facilitated by FDI’s COVID-19 Task Team. 

Fifty-seven member-national dental associations, from across the globe, revealed that nearly two-thirds of countries had not granted permission to dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines as part of national rollouts.

“Oral health is a fundamental component of overall health and wellbeing and oral healthcare is an essential public service,” FDI World Dental Federation president Dr Gerhard Konrad Seeberger said. 

“Efforts should be made to enable dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines when possible within national legislation and regulations, and with minimal disruption to oral healthcare services.” 

Of the 57 survey responses, the countries who have granted authorisation to the profession to administer vaccines include Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Serbia, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. Significantly, some of these countries include those where dentists have not previously been allowed to administer vaccines, or at least the influenza vaccine. 

In the US, around 20 states are currently permitting dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines. 

The survey also examined the prioritisation of dentists in COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programs. 

A total of 53 per cent of responding countries including Australia said that dentists would be included in priority vaccination groups, 12 per cent said that they would not be, and 18 per cent responded that the vaccination program and priority groups were still being planned. 

Scroll down press release on FDI World Dental Federation website for tabled survey results.

In Australia, the Government anticipates that the network of hospitals, GPs, and possibly pharmacists will effectively administer the national rollout throughout 2021. There is not currently a need for dentists or other dental practitioners to be involved in vaccination rollout. Source: ADA

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