Dental workers hit the front of the line for the Covid vaccine

NOW: Dental workers hit the front of the line for the Covid vaccine

ELKHART, Ind. --- On December 31st, the Indiana State Department of Health just announced that dental workers are eligible for the Covid vaccine. With those in the industry happy, that they have finally reached the front of the line. 

“Right now the infection rate for dentists is actually lower than the general population which means, they’re being educated about the infection control and putting their extra measures in place, they’re working,” said the Executive Director of the Indiana Dental Association Doug Bush.

Those within the dental industry know their precautions have made offices one of the safest places to be, but they still are recommending professionals get the coronavirus vaccine.

“Just in terms of herd immunity and getting through this, I think it’s important for everyone including dentists to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Loren Nelson of Greenleaf Family Dentistry. 

On New Year's Eve, the Indiana Dental Association received word, that dental workers were being added to the vaccine priority list, and waiting for appointments to be set. 

“The vaccine was now available for all healthcare providers before it was just limited to frontline workers that were treating Covid patients, now dentists are eligible to go online register and receive their appointment,” said Bush. 

With Nelson and her office already making plans for their vaccine appointments.

“We were eligible to take the vaccine, we got an email with a registration link in it, that made it very easy to logon, find any available location, and pick a time slot,” said Dr. Nelson. 

Experts I talked with say these healthcare professionals getting the vaccine, isn't just good for prevention, it's an added peace of mind for the patients they serve.

“Patient compacity is about 75-80% in the dental offices, that means that about 20-25% of folks are still not entirely comfortable and staying home and the ADA suspects that number isn’t likely to change significantly until the virus and pandemic is gone,” said Bush.

This can be risky, as prolonging dental care because of the pandemic, can lead to additional health issues.

“Waiting can cause more health issues, we tend to see early signs of disease you know diabetes, heart disease, has been linked to different dental conditions so I think it’s really important for people to maintain their dental health throughout this pandemic,” said Dr. Nelson.

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