Craig Ratner, DMD, Contributes in Dentistry Today

Dentists Can Join the Fight to Vaccinate the Public Against COVID-19

By Craig Ratner, DMD
Published Feb. 17, 2021 in Dentistry Today

"As medical professionals, we have an incredible opportunity right now in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to make a significant difference in our communities and to demonstrate that we can do more than maintain healthy smiles.

With the pandemic still rattling the nation, the healthcare system is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to assist at a community level. I have chosen to answer the call by volunteering in my own community to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

About 55.2 million doses have been administered in the United States as of February 16, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with about 15 million people receiving both doses. That's about 4.5% of the US population. If I can help in some small way to accelerate the effort to vaccinate in my community, I feel it is my obligation to do so.

Many forget that dentists are experts in giving injections. We administer them every day as part of our routine scope of practice. Our extensive training and experience uniquely qualify us to not only administer shots, but to offer intentional and specialized patient care as it relates to vaccinations.

I registered to volunteer through the New York State Dental Association, which created and maintains a database of members who are willing to participate. If you are interested in volunteering to administer the vaccine, I encourage you to lean on or reach out to your member associations and take advantage of the resources these organizations have to offer.

I also registered through the New York State Department of Health, which then put me in touch with a local branch of ServNY. Many states have a similar process set up. There are online resources available to ensure that those who are compelled to volunteer have the means by which to do so....."


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