Minnesota Senate passes bill allowing dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccine

The Minnesota Senate on Monday passed legislation that would allow dentists to be trained and administer influenza and COVID-19 vaccines to patients.

The vote was 67-0.

"As the COVID vaccine becomes more readily available, we want to ensure that Minnesota has the flexibility to administer the vaccine quickly in communities across the state," the bill’s chief author, Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Madison Lake, said. "Our state’s rollout has been rocky to date. As we look to improve, one way to add flexibility is to add administers that we already have trusted as partners in delivering other vaccines."

Current law allows trained dentists to administer the flu vaccine to patients at least 19 years old; Sen. Draheim’s bill would add the COVID-19 vaccine and lower the age restriction to patients 16 and older.

Lawmakers say the bill gives important flexibility, particularly for rural communities, in vaccinating Minnesotans.

The House’s companion bill has yet to be approved by the Health Finance and Policy Committee.