National CareQuest Institute survey shows half of dentists offering or would offer COVID-19 vaccines
Boston, MA, June 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Oral health providers across the country stand poised to be a critical access point for any additional “booster” shot that may be required to ensure continued immunity against COVID-19, according to a report released by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. The report comes as studies are underway in the U.S. and abroad to examine the efficacy of a booster shot at bolstering protection against the virus.
As COVID-19 variants continue to spread, key Biden administration officials and the CEO of Pfizer have indicated it is likely that booster shots will be required to protect against the coronavirus. According to our survey of nearly 400 oral health providers across the country, 49% indicated they either already administer the COVID-19 vaccine or are interested in doing so.
“If we want to ensure equitable and comprehensive distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and potential booster shots, oral health professionals must be part of the solution,” said Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, president and CEO of CareQuest Institute. “Dentists and hygienists have the trust of their patients and the training and capability to administer vaccines safely. According to our survey, dentists stand ready and willing to help, and we encourage states to include them as an essential part of their ongoing vaccination programs.”
Annually, more than 19 million people visit the dentist but not a primary care physician or other medical professional. Many dental professionals, especially those operating in community health care settings such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), are well positioned to serve as an important public health access point for COVID-19 vaccinations.
According to the report, dental providers in public health settings, like FQHCs, are 10 times more likely to be offering COVID-19 vaccines than providers in private practice. As racial and ethnic disparities persist in vaccination rates among Black and Latino communities, increasing access points to the vaccine in public health settings is one critical way to reduce existing gaps.
About CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
CareQuest Institute for Oral Health is a national nonprofit championing a more equitable future where every person can reach their full potential through excellent health. We do this through our work in grantmaking, research, health improvement programs, policy and advocacy, and education as well as our leadership in dental benefits, care delivery, and innovation advancements. We collaborate with thought leaders, health care providers, patients, and local, state, and federal stakeholders, to accelerate oral health care transformation and create a system designed for everyone. To learn more, visit carequest.org and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.