Like other dentists, A.J. Acierno is experienced in complex medical procedures and comfortable with oral injections.
So he’s more than capable of delivering basic COVID-19 shots to the upper arms of patients, he says.
And now that the Biden administration is letting dentists and dental students administer vaccines, Americans may now be able to get an inoculation against the deadly virus the next time they get a tooth cleaning.
“As a dentist, I will be very happy to give a shot,” says Acierno, who is also CEO of Schaumburg Illinois-based DecisionOne Dental, a group of dental practices with 33 locations.
In fact, the procedure will be even easier for him than oral shots because vaccine patients won’t be able to fend off needles with their tongues or by clamping their mouths shut.
There’s a growing consensus that an all-hands-on-deck approach is the best way to vaccinate the nation as quickly as possible at a time when experts say that it’s the only way to put an end to the pandemic.
With that in mind, President Joe Biden’s administration this month amended an emergency declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to allow the nation’s more than 151,000 dentists to join the push to deliver shots.
By comparison, the U.S. has nearly 322,000 pharmacists, many of whom are already delivering vaccines at drug stores.
“Since Biden said … he expects everyone to be eligible, I do think that we need a lot of different outlets for people to access…