Dentist in Amarillo receive COVID-19 vaccine while others in Texas must wait

Updated: Jan. 13, 2021 at 10:18 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Many dentist in Amarillo say they have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, but not every dentist in Texas can say the same.

Dr. Tom Carr is one of the dentists in Amarillo to already been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Even with the vaccine, he and his dentist office plan to not let their guard down.

“It’s a hazard of the job, sure. Getting saliva or things towards you for sure,” said Chrissy Perdue, dental hygienist, Panhandle Dental.

In people’s mouths every day, being in the field of dentistry can be dangerous during a global pandemic.

“We come in contact every day with potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus and we need the vaccine. I think it gives us another layer of safety,” said Dr. Matt Roberts, chairman council, legislative and regulatory affairs, Texas Dental Association.

Carr says the Department of Public Health told him dentist are already eligible to be vaccinated.

Carr is planning to receive his second shot soon.

“We are the step below the front line workers as far as on the levels of getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Tom Carr, dentist, Panhandle Dental.

A vaccine that he believes is needed in his line of work.

“Patients have to be seen so, we have to protect ourselves and protect them,” said Carr.

Perdue is a dental hygienist and sees patients daily, but to her there is still too much unknown to get vaccinated just yet.

“I believe in the science of it and the importance of it. I just choose to not do it yet because of the unknowns of side effects I suppose,” said Perdue.

While those in the dental profession in Amarillo have the option of being vaccinated, other dentist in the state of Texas do not.

Which is what the Texas Dental Association is currently advocating for.

“Different health care regions, if you will, are deciding who will and will not get the vaccine,” said Roberts.

Texas Dental Association says it is working with the state to remind them the CDC declares dentistry as frontline workers and is advocating for dentist to get the vaccine.

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