California bill would let dentists give COVID-19 vaccinations, rapid tests

California Gov. Newsom is expected to sign a bill that would allow dentists in the state to administer influenza and COVID-19 vaccines and obtain licenses to conduct rapid COVID-19 tests, the California Dental Association said Sept. 17.

AB 526 would authorize dentists to provide the vaccines to people above the age of 3. Dentists would also be able to obtain a California laboratory field services license to perform waived tests, such as rapid point-of-care COVID-19 tests, and antigen COVID-19 tests.

The California Dental Association said the bill would help practices comply with the state's Aug. 23 public health order requiring healthcare workers to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or be tested regularly.

Many dentists in California have already been giving COVID-19 vaccinations on a temporary basis after being authorized to do so by the Department of Consumer Affairs in January. Under the bill, vaccine training would also count toward dentists' continuing education requirements.

If signed by the governor, the law would take effect immediately.

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