Gov. Evers signs new law allowing dentists to give COVID-19 vaccines

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Wisconsinites could soon get their teeth cleaned and a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine all in the comfort of the dentist’s chair.

During a visit to the UW-Milwaukee vaccine site, Gov. Tony Evers signed into law Wisconsin Act 8. It allows dentists to administer certain vaccines like those for COVID-19.

Wisconsin Dental Association President Paula Crum said dentists have the right qualifications to help with the vaccine rollout.

“We certainly know how to give injections in a very difficult area of the body to give injections--the mouth,” Crum said. “To go through a little bit of training and to be able to provide an injection in the deltoid muscle, the arm, is very much in the scope of what we can do.”

Before dentists can start vaccinating, they’ll have to complete an eight hour course.

This training will go through storage, certain protocols, administration techniques, emergency procedures and record keeping.

Crum said allowing dentists to do this work will make the vaccine more accessible in rural communities.

In places like Eau Claire, it’s more about convenience.

“We see people statistically on a more regular basis than the folks, the citizens, see their healthcare providers,” said Chris Johnson, a general dentist at Hillside Dental. “I think it’s one more modality for people to be served and to be taken care of.”

Johnson has been a dentist in the Chippewa Valley since 1997. As the training becomes available, he’ll be ready and willing to help the community beat the pandemic one shot at a time.

As part of Wisconsin Act 8 dentists will also be able to give their patients the flu shot. Across Wisconsin there are 3,500 licensed dentists.

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