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Just-in-Time Training of Dental Responders in a Simulated Pandemic Immunization Response Exercise

  • Michael D. Colvard (a1) (a2), Jeremy L. Hirst (a3), Benjamin J. Vesper (a1) (a2), George E. DeTella (a3), Mila P. Tsagalis (a4), Mary J. Roberg (a1) (a2) (a5), David E. Peters (a2) (a6), Jimmy D. Wallace (a1) (a2) and James J. James (a7)...



The reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act in 2013 incorporated the dental profession and dental professionals into the federal legislation governing public health response to pandemics and all-hazard situations. Work is now necessary to expand the processes needed to incorporate and train oral health care professionals into pandemic and all-hazard response events.


A just-in-time (JIT) training exercise and immunization drill using an ex vivo porcine model system was conducted to demonstrate the rapidity to which dental professionals can respond to a pandemic influenza scenario. Medical history documentation, vaccination procedures, and patient throughput and error rates of 15 dental responders were evaluated by trained nursing staff and emergency response personnel.


The average throughput (22.33/hr) and medical error rates (7 of 335; 2.08%) of the dental responders were similar to those found in analogous influenza mass vaccination clinics previously conducted using certified public health nurses.


The dental responder immunization drill validated the capacity and capability of dental professionals to function as a valuable immunization resource. The ex vivo porcine model system used for JIT training can serve as a simple and inexpensive training tool to update pandemic responders’ immunization techniques and procedures supporting inoculation protocols.


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Michael Colvard, DDS, MTS, MS, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry, Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, 801 S Paulina St, Rm 569B, Chicago, IL 60612 (e-mail:


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