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Why dentists are pushing for the power to give vaccinations

Australian dentists are pushing for the power to give patients vaccinations when they come in for dental check ups.

About 90 per cent of surveyed members of the Australasian Academy of Dento-Facial Aesthetics (AADFA) say they would be willing to administer flu vaccines, a COVID-19 vaccine when one is made available, and possibly even give jabs for things like HPV, which causes a lot of oral cancers.

Director of the AADFA, Dr Myles Holt, said rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine when there is one will be a big task, and dentists are well place to help.

“Dentists are highly trained, and we give injections every day, and we do it in a very sensitive part of the body,” he said.

“The training and expertise is already there. It doesn’t take much to extend that to give a vaccination in the arm.

“They have great infection control and hygiene standards already, almost hospital grade.”

Dr Holt said similar initiatives are being rolled out overseas.

“We’ve seen dentists stepping into this role in the US and the UK,” he said.

“If you can walk into somewhere like Chemist Warehouse and have a pharmacist … give you a vaccination, it doesn’t really make sense why you can’t get it at your local dentist.”

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