Oregon Bill Allows Dentists to Administer Vaccines

Dentistry Today


The Oregon House and Senate have passed House Bill 2220, which enables dentists to provide vaccinations ranging from flu shots to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. It now awaits the signature of Governor Kate Brown.

“Dentists are highly trained medical practitioners who are well positioned to provide this additional preventive care service,” said James McMahan, DMD, president of the Oregon Dental Association (ODA), which lobbied for the legislation. 

“Increasing our scope of practice to the administration of vaccines will help further integrate oral health with physical and behavioral health, ultimately better serving our patients,” McMahan said.

The bill directs the Oregon Board of Dentistry to approve a training course on the prescription and administration of vaccines. It also directs the board to adopt rules related to their prescription and administration. 

Dentists will need to take this course and meet current state mandated vaccine storage and reporting requirements before they can administer vaccines. Dentists who provide and administer vaccines will do so voluntarily. 

The Legislative Revenue Office has determined that the legislation will have no impact on state or local revenues, and the Legislative Fiscal Office says it will have a minimal expenditure impact on state or local government. 

According to the ODA, the bill will help the state meet its Healthy People 2020 goal of 70% of Oregon adults receiving annual flu shots. It also will help meet the state’s 2015-2019 Health Improvement Plan goals of increasing the number of school-aged children who are vaccinated and the percentage of adolescents who complete the HPV vaccine series.

Furthermore, the ODA notes that the state is moving to a more integrated healthcare delivery system, utilizing dentists to screen for basic health conditions. Having dentists provide preventive services such as vaccines makes increasingly more sense, the ODA adds.

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