In an effort to speed up vaccinations across the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that dentists are now cleared to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
The emergency waiver approved Monday allows the state’s 36,000 dentists to help give the shots, KTLA sister station KRON reports.
“I think this is something that should’ve been done a long time ago. We should’ve been considered a long time ago,” said Dr. Thomas Arnold, a dental surgeon.
Dentists Dr. Thomas Arnold and Dr. Daniel Chen say once they get trained, they’ll be ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines at clinics and vaccination sites.
“As dentists, I think we are fully qualified to administer these vaccination shots. We already give injections in hard to reach places in the mouth, so giving a shot in the arm shouldn’t be a big deal,” said Chen. “As medical professionals, we can recognize signs of allergic reaction, so us being able to recognize that and be able to know how to respond I think is crucial.”
This idea comes as the state continues to finalize its vaccination plan. The California Dental Association is applauding the idea, saying every available resource needs to be deployed to save lives and mitigate suffering during the pandemic.
“A lot of patients have confidence and faith in their dentist, and people who might be a little apprehensive might be more open to it if their dentist they’ve been seeing for years says it’s okay,” Arnold said.