Bill would allow dentists to give COVID-19 vaccines for faster rollout

Bill would allow dentists to give COVID-19 vaccines for faster rollout
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| ABC News Radio

By ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News

(SAINT PAUL, Minn.) — The Minnesota State Senate approved legislation Monday that would allow dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines once they’ve been trained.

“As the COVID vaccine becomes more readily available, we want to ensure that Minnesota has the flexibility to administer the vaccine quickly in communities across the state,” state Sen. Rich Draheim, who authored the bill, said in a statement.

He added: “Our state’s rollout has been rocky to date. As we look to improve, one way to add flexibility is to add administers that we already have trusted as partners in delivering other vaccines.”

The bill has not yet been passed by lawmakers in Minnesota’s House of Representatives.

Current state law allows dentists to give flu vaccines to patients who are 19 years old and older. The bill would permit vaccine-trained dentists to give COVID and flu shots to patients who are at least 16 years old. At least 20 states currently allow dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines, according to the American Dental Association.

As of Monday, Minnesota had administered 13,215 doses for every 100,000 residents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. West Virginia, in comparison, has administered 18,045 doses for every 100,000 residents.

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