With many states in the United States permitting dentists to administer the COVID-19
vaccine, there is much discussion about their scope of practice in relation to delivering
Survey questions were developed to assess dentists’ awareness about their vaccine
administration scope of practice and attitudes and barriers if choosing to incorporate
vaccine delivery into their practice scope. The survey was deployed electronically
to members of the American Dental Association Clinical Evaluators (ACE) Panel (N =
989) on September 2, 2021, and remained open for 2 weeks. Data were summarized descriptively
in Qualtrics and SAS Version 9.4.
Of the 330 ACE Panel members who responded to the survey, 42% were not aware of which
vaccines their state permits them to deliver. More than one-half (55%) would be willing
to administer influenza or COVID-19 vaccines in their practice setting, but at present
only 2% of respondents administer vaccines. To overcome vaccine administration barriers,
the top 3 resources respondents want access to are the following: training or education,
financial support, and access to protocols. Of all the respondents, 91% indicated
the dental hygienist should be involved in certain capacities.
Few dentists are administering vaccines, possibly owing to a number of challenges.
Dental hygienists may play an integral role in the administration of vaccines in the
dental clinic, but few dentists are educating their patients about vaccines.
Although dentists wishing to administer vaccines in their practice may encounter barriers,
support at the state, federal, and organizational levels could help them overcome
∗ 44% of respondents are not willing to administer any vaccines.
† Includes 1 or more of the following: initiate conversations with patients (75%), review patient medical history for vaccination status (70%), promote obtaining vaccinations if the practice offers them (59%), refer patients to a provider who can administer vaccines (56%), or administer vaccines (32%).
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Disclaimer. ADA Clinical Evaluator (ACE) Panel Report content is for informational purposes only, is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the American Dental Association, and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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