HHS launches portal for potential vaccinators
WASHINGTON, U.S.: As vaccine supply continues to increase in the coming weeks and all adults across the United States become eligible for vaccination, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched an online portal to help dental providers navigate the training and registration they will need to complete in order to become a part of the expanded COVID-19 vaccine workforce.
Health care professionals, retirees and students can now visit the Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, at www.phe.gov/covidvaccinators, for information on whether they are eligible to administer the COVID-19 vaccine under federal law. The site also includes links to volunteer management portals for every state, for those professionals and students who wish to volunteer as vaccinators.
HHS is also conducting a significant outreach effort to health professional associations, schools of health professions, public health and emergency management stakeholders, and state and local health officers and immunization managers to share vaccinator eligibility information and get the word out about volunteer opportunities.
The Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals website verifies health professionals’ identities, licenses, credentials and accreditations in advance so that state and territorial health agencies can determine the best way to use available COVID-19 vaccinators to help their communities.
“Some vaccinators may not be called to serve, but by registering you are making the commitment to help the people in your community if they need you. You could even administer a dose of vaccine that saves someone’s life,” wrote HHS on the Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals website.
The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, or PREP Act, allows the HHS secretary to issue a declaration in a public health emergency such as a pandemic. This declaration provides temporary immunity from tort liability claims (except willful misconduct) to individuals or organizations involved in dispensing medical countermeasures such as vaccines.
During COVID-19, a declaration was first issued in January 2020 and was amended on March 11 to designate additional health care professionals, including dentists, as “qualified persons” who are authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Dental students who have the proper training and professional supervision are also among those providers authorized under the declaration.
(Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Dental Association)