As the connection between oral and systemic health strengthens, it is important for dental students to understand how vaccinations play a critical role in stopping communicable diseases. During the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions about administering and receiving vaccines came to the forefront of many within organized dentistry and beyond.  Dental students and dentists play a vital role in explaining evidence-based medicine to patients and advocates of the anti-vaccinations movement.

Ashley Wettstain, Kentucky ’22 administers the COVID-19 vaccine at the Kentucky Dental Association Advocacy Days.

ASDA's Policies


ASDA’s H-11 policy supports the ADA Policy on Vaccine Administration. The policy also encourages dental schools to incorporate vaccine administration into their curricula and to administer vaccinations in clinical settings, when appropriate. 

ASDA’s I-2 policy supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) current recommendation that dental students be vaccinated, given their risk for contracting serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. ASDA also encourages dental schools to provide and help subsidize vaccine-preventable diseases screening and vaccine administration.

ASDA's I-3 policy supports compliance with the current CDC guidelines for vaccines, recommends that dental schools urge patients to follow CDC guidelines for vaccines, and encourages dental schools to provide patient education on vaccines as a scientifically-proven safe and effective measure of preventing communicable diseases. 

COVID-19 and Vaccinations

  • In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services amended an emergency declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to authorize additional providers, including dentists and dental students, to vaccinate patients for COVID-19 nationwide. After the COVID-19 health emergency ends on May 11, 2023, dentists and dental students will no longer be able to administer COVID-19 vaccines unless the state where they are licensed already allows them to do so.
  • On Dec. 16, 2020, ASDA and 24 other dental and healthcare organizations sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting clarification to include dental, autopsy, and laboratory personal for priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, ASDA launched a Feature Friday series on social media highlighting dental students administering the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Vaccinations2

Courtney Hollingsworth, Howard '22 along with other volunteers helped to vaccinate over 500 people on the first day of the vaccination clinic.

Review past vaccination bills ASDA has supported and coalition letters ASDA has signed onto here.