PEI

Island dentists offering to give COVID-19 shots

Island dentists are offering their expertise as the province ramps up and rolls out COVID-19 vaccinations.

'We felt that if we can help, and we feel we can, that we should offer to help'

Dr. Mike Connolly, past president of the P.E.I. Dental Association, says dentists routinely give needles, but in the mouth, not the arm. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Island dentists are offering their expertise as the province ramps up and rolls out COVID-19 vaccinations.

The P.E.I. Dental Association says dentists themselves could give some of the shots. The average dentist gives a dozen or more needles every day to patients, said Dr. Mike Connolly, a dentist in Charlottetown and past president of the P.E.I. Dental Association.  

"We felt that if we can help, and we feel we can, that we should offer to help," he said.

"The pandemic, it's not something that's fleeting, that's going to go away easily. So we have offered through public health and the Chief Public Health Office, a community of dentists who would be willing to help provide vaccinations if that was required."

There are about 65 dentists who practise in the province, and the association said it's surveying them to see how many are willing to join the effort. 

Requires order from CPHO

The association noted that giving needles in arms, instead of the gums and the mouth, is outside their normal scope of practice and would require an order to be issued by the Chief Public Health Officer.

Connolly said many dentists are looking forward to receiving the vaccines when it is their turn.

Nurses and pharmacists have also said they are willing and able to administer the vaccines.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Brian Higgins

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