Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp has issued an emergency order authorizing dentists in the state to administer the COVID-19 vaccine at public health sites on a volunteer basis.
While state statutes prohibit licensed dentists from administering vaccines, the emergency order allows dentists to specifically administer the COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health and in accordance with department guidelines. Dentists will be allowed to provide these vaccines until the Public Health State of Emergency is over.
Dentists and allied personnel also are eligible to receive the vaccine through their local public health district or their local pharmacy as part of Phase 1A of Georgia’s distribution plan. Dentists and allied personnel can register with their local public health district online.
The Georgia Dental Association (GDA) supports the emergency order.
“Governor Kemp’s January 15 executive order will further enhance dentists’ ability to assist in Georgia’s recovery efforts so that our fellow healthcare providers, the medically fragile, and ultimately all Georgians have an opportunity to receive the vaccine,” said GDA president Dr. Louvenia Annette Rainge.
As GDA president, Rainge said that she will be issuing a statewide call to action urging all of her dental colleagues to take full advantage of this volunteer opportunity.
“This is a time for Georgia dentists to unite for the common good of all Georgians,” Rainge said.
“Through GDA’s many charitable outreach programs, our dentists are widely regarded for their volunteer spirit, altruism, and strong commitment to community service,” said GDA executive director Frank J. Capaldo.
“At the onset of the pandemic, our members generously donated PPE and volunteered their time to assist with COVID-19 testing. As states turn to dentists to accelerate vaccine distribution, GDA member dentists will continue to answer the call to serve,” Capaldo said.
The GDA is working closely with the governor’s office, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Board of Dentistry to provide resources to Georgia-licensed dentists who are ready to assist with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the organization said.