PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In order to expand accessibility, some dentists are now being trained to administer flu shots.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to get your annual flu shot. Because of this, Kaiser Permanente is training their dentists to administer flu shots. They say not only does this boost flu vaccination rates but also further prepares them for the roll-out of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.

Kaiser Permanente will begin a pilot program next week at their Grand and Eastmoreland offices. Patients over the age of 12 can receive the shot in their dental chair during their appointment.

Dentists are allowed to administer vaccines thanks to last year’s passage of House Bill 2220. HB 2220 established that dentists are allowed to give out vaccines after proper training, making Oregon the first state to allow dentists to offer any vaccines to their patients. The bill was promoted by the Oregon Dental Association along with the OHSU School of Dentistry and Kaiser Permanente’s dental group.

OHSU recently led a vaccination training program to certify Oregon dentists in giving vaccines, with 21 Kaiser Permanente dentists being the first to complete the program. OHSU will continue to train dentists in November.