Oregon Dentists and Immunization Administration

The Oregon Dental Association introduced and passed House Bill 2220 in 2019 to empower dentists to offer vaccines to patients, expanding access to lifesaving immunizations for all Oregonians. The bill allows dentists to administer vaccines, with no limit on age of the patient or type of vaccine. The law requires providers to take a Board of Dentistry approved course prior to administering vaccines and follow all storage and reporting requirements as defined by the Oregon Health Authority.

Steps to becoming an immunizing dentist flowchart

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Immunization Administration Frequently Asked Questions

Are Oregon dentists allowed to administer vaccines?

Yes! HB 2220, passed in the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session by the Oregon Dental Association, allows dentists who complete Board of Dentistry approved CE to administer vaccines.

What types of vaccines can I administer?

The law allows a dentist to administer any vaccine provided they are appropriately trained. In order to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, you will need to enroll to be a COVID-19 vaccination provider after completing the vaccine certification process.

To whom can I administer a vaccine?

Any patient of record. There is no age limit in the statute. If you will be administering vaccines to patients 0-18 years of age, you will need to register for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

Has the Board of Dentistry approved a vaccine administration course?

Yes. OHSU School of Dentistry has developed a Board approved course. You can access information about it here. There are two components: online and hands- on. Both must be completed.

What other requirements/processes do I have to go through?

There are CDC courses and OHA registration required. When completing the OHSU CE training course, your instructors will provide you all the information on next steps.

What is the time commitment to become certified?

It takes approximately 8 – 10 hours to complete the online and hands-on courses, plus the required modules and registrations.

I only want to give COVID-19 vaccines. Do I still need to complete the vaccine certification process?

Individuals who are interested in only being trained to offer COVID-19 and Influenza immunizations, they can take the new COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccine Training Course to be certified. Once fully completed with both the online and hands-on portions, the individual the dentist will be issued a COVID-19 and Influenza Immunization Training Certificate. If the dentist plans to administer any additional COVID-19 vaccines as they become available, they must take and maintain documentation of the vaccine manufacturer’s training modules found at the Oregon Health Authority’s website here.

The dentist is required to take and maintain documentation of all required annual training for every vaccine as updates become available; the School of Dentistry does not require documentation of subsequent or additional COVID-19 and Influenza vaccine training documentation. The dentist’s staff member is required to take and maintain documentation of all required subsequent ALERT IIS training; the School of Dentistry does not require documentation of required subsequent ALERT IIS training.

If the dentist seeks a comprehensive Immunization Certificate, they may enroll in the original OHSU School of Dentistry immunization training program without repeating modules they have taken. The School of Dentistry requires documentation of completion of this training to award a full Immunization Certificate.

Will my liability insurance coverage me for this additional scope?

TDIC has issued this statement:

TDIC covers policyholders in Oregon who provide in-office vaccinations as allowed by license, state board.

The Dentists Insurance Company’s Professional Liability insurance covers policyholders in Oregon who perform any vaccination in the dental office if the vaccination is allowed by the individual’s dental license and the state board of dentistry.

Under Oregon state law that took effect in January 2020, dentists can prescribe and administer any vaccine to any age group after completing additional continuing education training. Dentists in Oregon who administer vaccines must also meet all the vaccine storage and reporting requirements mandated by the state.

Dentists are already skilled at administering injections, and because they may see patients who do not regularly see their physician or seek medical care, they are well-poised to reach thousands more patients to help prevent the flu, HPV and other disease and save lives.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved a COVID-19 vaccine for safe and effective public use, but provided licensed dentists in Oregon have the required training and can meet the storage requirements of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, TDIC Professional Liability insurance policyholders in Oregon will be covered for providing the COVID-19 vaccination in the dental office.

TDIC Professional Liability coverage in Oregon follows the scope of practice set forth by the dental board. This ensures that you are covered should changes be made to the scope of dentistry by the presiding dental board.

Coverage specifically underwritten by The Dentists Insurance Company includes Professional Liability, Commercial Property and Cyber Suite Liability. Available coverage limits and discounts vary by carrier and are subject to carrier underwriting.

How will I bill insurance for these services?

You will bill your patient’s medical insurance. If medical billing is new for you, we encourage you taking CE on the topic to learn about this exciting area of cross over between dentistry and medicine. You may find other services that you could be billing medical insurance for as well!

Where can I purchase vaccines once I am certified to administer them?

Vaccine can be ordered directly from various vaccine manufacturers, or through pharmaceutical distribution companies. Some manufacturers may refer you to a distributor. Learn more on OHA’s resource page.

Where can I learn more?