The Chief Executive of the Irish Dental Association (IDA) has called on the Government to begin the vaccination of dental teams as a matter of urgency, in line with comments made in the Dail last week by Tanaiste Leo Varadkar.
Speaking today, Mr Fintan Hourihan said that the vaccination of dental teams must begin this Saturday (January 23rd) so that dentists can continue to provide essential healthcare services to the population, as they have been doing since the onset of the pandemic last March.
“The IDA welcomes the news that GPs and pharmacists will be involved in accelerating the rollout of vaccinations among the public, but now we need to see concrete plans for the vaccination of dental teams as essential healthcare workers.
“In reality, we see no reason why the vaccination of dental teams cannot begin this weekend, and we should be given equal priority to medical GPs as suggested by the Tanaiste last week.”
Last week, while referencing the need for GPs to be included in the second group of healthcare workers to receive the vaccine, Mr Varadkar said: “The same applies in dentists' surgeries given the close-contact nature of the service they provide.” The vaccination of medical GPs began last Saturday (January 16th).
Mr Hourihan said that the IDA had made repeated representations to the Minister for Health on vaccinations. “It is critically important that dentists receive this vaccination as soon as possible due to close contact nature of the service that we provide. This is the only course of action for a healthcare group that has worked tirelessly on behalf of the public under extreme pressure and stress over the past year. The Government needs to act urgently.”