Dentists in Maine have rallied to the call to help vaccinate people against COVID-19. According to the Bangor Daily News, dentists might join the medical practitioners administering vaccines against the novel coronavirus. According to the US Census Bureau, the state has around 1.3 million people, meaning that the extra help would be appreciated to help deal with the massive number of vaccines that need to be delivered.
Helping But Not Replacing Vaccination Staff
Dentists will be supplementary staff to those already administering vaccines around the state. The health care workers that are typically assigned to give vaccinations will still be doing so. The scale of the operations is what scares logistical teams. Based on the vaccine’s availability, the existing staff will have to approach the distribution of the vaccine carefully. With more distribution centers, such as dentists’ offices like Dr. Hal N. Arnold, there may be fewer logistical issues in distributing the vaccine to all those who need it.
Maine Dental Association Steps Up
In a letter to the Maine Center for Disease Control, copied to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine Dental Association offered their services officially to the organizations. The Maine Dental Association boasts of over seven hundred and sixty-five associates, allowing the state to have more locations available for people to get vaccinated. Dentists are medical practitioners and are trained to operate as professionals. Given the population’s size and how many are still at risk of infection, the state is likely to need as many volunteers as it can get to help with vaccine delivery.
Still Many People Uninfected
Maine has been one of the luckier states when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak. Numbers from the Maine Division of Disease Surveillance puts the number of confirmed infections at just over fifteen thousand. Compared to the rest of the country, Maine sits as the fifth least affected state by terms of numbers of infection. This low infection rate may be due to early attempts at social distancing and the spread of the population across the state. With so few infected, Maine has a lot to worry about if infection numbers start to spoke. This consideration makes a robust case for ensuring as many people are vaccinated against the illness as possible.
Preparing For a Mass Rollout
The distribution of the first two approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are expected to span several months. Maine is expected to receive around 75,000 of the initial batch of vaccines in December and resupplied as more doses make it into the country. There will be a significant push in 2021 that will seek to vaccinate all uninfected residents. This plan’s success depends on having enough doses of the vaccine and enough places for people to get the shot. Dentists could prove a useful ally in supplying the population with the vaccine within a viable period. They will operate alongside pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and hospitals to deliver doses to the state’s residents.