Would you want to get your Coronavirus vaccine at the same time you're getting your teeth cleaned?

In an effort to offer widespread access to the COVID vaccines more quickly, the Iowa Dental Board has proposed a bill adding dentists and dental hygienists to the list of professionals able to administer it, which in our state currently includes doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.

According to KCCI, the President of the Iowa Dental Board said 14 other states already allow what would be proposed in "House Study Bill 71", which has been filed with and assigned to the House Resources subcommittee but no hearing has yet been set.

The program would be voluntary and dental professionals would need to undergo at least four hours of training, according to Dr. William McBride of the Iowa Dental Board.

But several issues have been raised with the proposal by representatives from The Iowa Medical Society, Iowa Psychiatric Society, and the Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. They say it's currently a limited supply and high demand issue for the vaccine itself, and not the number of available providers that are holding up more patients from getting it.

Dr. Brian Privett of the Iowa Medical Society also says he wants it known that it would remain crucial for higher-risk patients to seek the vaccine through their primary medical care provider, who has access to their medical history. Despite these concerns, Privett said the groups he represents are not questioning the qualifications of dentists to provide the vaccine.

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