September 16, 2021
by LaDawn Brock, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry
The federal government’s 2021 expansion of individuals qualified to deliver COVID-19 vaccines led Texas A&M University College of Dentistry to equip dental students to join the fight against the pandemic.
“The idea started in January when dentists were still not authorized to give vaccines,” said Dr. Penelope Drayer, clinical assistant professor in comprehensive dentistry. “But the federal government amended the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act March 11, 2021, allowing dentists and dental students, among other health care professionals, to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.”
According to the PREP Act, this authorization extends to students in multiple fields: dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, pharmacy intern, midwife, paramedic, advanced or intermediate EMT, physician assistant, respiratory therapy, podiatry, optometry and veterinary medicine. However, those students must have appropriate training in administering vaccines as determined by their schools or training programs. They also must have supervision by a currently practicing health care professional experienced in administering intramuscular injections who administers COVID-19 vaccines.