The top three resources responding dentists would like to receive to help them overcome vaccine administration barriers include training or education in safe vaccine delivery and adverse events, financial support to purchase necessary storage equipment, and access to protocols for handling vaccines.
Regarding training in vaccine delivery, 75% of respondents reported they had no didactic training, 81% reported they had no clinical training, and 59% said they do not know what training methods they can access.
"The main takeaway from the survey is that broadening the scope of dental practice to include vaccine administration would greatly and positively impact the health of the public," Dr. Duong said. "Additionally, the major barriers to vaccine administration identified can be overcome by ensuring proper training of vaccine handling, providing financial support for storage and equipment, and accessing proper protocols for vaccine handling."
About two-thirds of dentists are currently educating their patients about vaccines or would consider doing so, while 34% said they did not plan on offering any education.
More than 90% of respondents said dental hygienists should be involved in vaccine administration in certain capacities, with a third indicating hygienists should administer vaccines.
"Many of our findings were a great reflection of what we expected, but it was positively surprising to find that a majority of the respondents (91%) indicated that their dental hygienist should play a vital role in the vaccine administration process and a third of the respondents indicated that their dental hygienist should administer vaccines," Dr. Duong said.
Dentists can view the entire ACE Panel report online and download the PDF at JADA.ADA.org.
ACE Panel reports feature data from ADA member dentists who have signed up to participate in short surveys related to dental products, practices and other clinical topics. The ACE Panel Oversight Subcommittee of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs writes the reports with ADA Science & Research Institute staff.
The reports offer ADA members a way to understand their peers' opinions on various dental products and practices, providing insight and awareness that can benefit patients and the profession.
Members are invited to join the ACE Panel and contribute to upcoming surveys, which occur no more than once every few months and usually take five to 10 minutes to complete.
To learn more or join the ACE Panel, visit ADA.org/ACE.