Indiana dentists await guidance on COVID-19 vaccine

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HAUBSTADT, Ind. (WEHT) -Hospitals have been preparing to distribute the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to front line health care workers.

And as more vaccines become available, your local dentist’s office may be able to provide one.
Dentists in Illinois will be allowed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine — but it is still unclear if dentists in Indiana and Kentucky will be allowed to do the same thing.

“I’ve only heard mumblings and we have talked to our local health department and there’s no word one way or the other. Of course we are gong to follow their lead on this,” Evan Hipp with Hipp Dentistry said.

Dentists like Hipp are waiting for officials in Indiana to make a decision on whether to allow dentists to administer the vaccine. Hipp said they’d be more than willing to do it and he feels there would be many benefits.

“I think it would be an opportunity for us to help keep hospitals and primary care facilities from becoming overwhelmed with patients coming in for the vaccine,” Hipp said. “If we’re seeing patients anyway and we have them in a safe environment. I can’t speak for everybody, but I would be more than happy to help with that.”

Illinois has already given the green light to dentists to administer the vaccine when it becomes available and many of those dentists said it only makes sense.

Hipp admits there are some other issues that would need to be resolved before dentists would give the shots, such as where the vaccine would be stored and how it would be distributed.

“Some facilities, probably including ourselves, if we have to store it in these freezers, we may not have the ability to do it. So distribution may be an issue getting it to us and us being able to store it,” Hipp said.

Wayne County, Illinois, the Fairfield area, will be the first southern Illinois county in the Tri-state to get the first doses of an approved vaccine.

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(This story was originally published on December 10, 2020)

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