The Illinois State Dental Society is seeking support for a bill that would allow dentists to provide flu vaccines to patients 18 years and older, SB3409. ISDS is encouraging all members to contact their representatives today, so that the bill survives committee debates in the coming weeks.
The Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) is making a strong effort in the House of Representatives to stop the flu vaccine bill, arguing that health insurers will not credential dentists in medical networks and that dentists are not Medicare providers. In addition, ISMS representatives say that there is already adequate coverage of providers to administer flu vaccines.
In response, ISDS is asking members contact their state representatives and to emphasize that these administrative issues can be addressed — and that the real issue is the potential to keep people from getting sick and possibly dying. Evidence shows that only 45 percent of Illinois citizens get vaccinated annually, and that hospitals are flooded with patients sickened with the flu, according to the reports published by Illinois Department of Public Health.
ISDS has also argued that passage of SB409 will enable dentists to volunteer at public health clinics this fall to help with inoculation efforts, which will greatly increase the number of health care providers vaccinating the underserved population.
SB409 is expected to be heard by the House Health Care Licenses Committee or the Health Care Availability to Access Committee within the next two weeks.
Find more talking points and get your Representative’s contact information online.