17 Mar Indiana Dentists Approved to Administer Vaccines
Dentists will soon be able to more directly assist in the battle against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
On Tuesday, March 16, the Senate unanimously approved HB 1079, an IDA-supported bill that allows dentists with proper training to administer vaccines. Last month the bill was overwhelmingly approved by the Indiana House, so it will soon be on its way to the governor’s office for his signature. Unlike most new laws that go into effect on July 1, this bill was given emergency status, allowing it to go into effect as soon as the governor signs it.
The bill addresses other important issues. It modernizes Indiana’s definition of dentistry, bringing it into closer alignment with language recommended by the American Dental Association. This expanded definition limits liability risk by lessening the chance a dentist practicing within standards of care could be charged with providing treatment outside of his or her legal scope of practice.
The bill also addresses virtual credit card (VCC) payments, prohibiting insurance companies from using VCCs as their only method of making claims payment to dentists. A 2020 survey of IDA members indicated that 61 percent of dentists felt VCCs were problematic, primarily due to their large transaction fees. The newly passed legislation requires insurance companies to offer dentists at least one alternative to VCC dental claims payments.
The change in Indiana law vaccine law comes on the heels of a March 11, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) emergency declaration extending civil liability protection to dentists and dental students who are vaccinating patients for COVID-19.
Overview of Vaccine Administration
The general stipulations of the vaccination language in HB 1079 include:
- Patients must be 11 or older.
- The dentist must be certified in CPR.
- The dentist must complete a course of vaccine instruction approved by the Indiana State Board of Dentistry. One option is the CDC’s You Call the Shots course: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/youcalltheshots.html
- Only licensed dentists may administer vaccines to patients.
Our Vaccine Administration Guidelines booklet has more information about education, reporting guidelines and approved vaccines.
There are 20 vaccines that dentists may administer to patients 11 and older. To view the full list, view our Vaccine Administration Guidelines booklet.