ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo – Dentists are supposed to be a priority in getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Their work is among the most high risk because of “aerosolization” or spray that hangs in the air from using dental instruments.
Ellisville Dental’s Dr. A Scott Mitchell has failed to get vaccinated after trying for weeks in St. Louis County.
“My kids are all in health care in other states and they’ve all gotten it. Some have gotten their second dose already and here we are in Missouri and they’re surprised I haven’t even been offered it at this point,” added Mitchel.
Dr. Daniel Pernoud with Lilly Dental drove about an hour away to get his vaccine today. Pernoud said, “It wasn’t until we started branching out into the more rural towns like obviously Sullivan and Washington that we actually got a response back.”
He says he only found the rural options after a staff member spent ten hours calling around. Pernoud added, “We have to close our office a half day on Wednesday because my staff is going to be driving out to Sullivan to get it all together.”
The President of the Greater St. Louis Dental Society, Dr. Danielle Riordan, D.D.S. told me her staff is driving out to Cole County to get their vaccines.
She added in a statement:
“We at the Greater St. Louis Dental Society have been working tirelessly over the past four weeks behind the scenes trying to coordinate efforts to get our members and their teams vaccinated. We have maintained open communication with area hospital systems, area health departs, and DHSS. It has been a long process, through which many of our area doctors and teams have had to travel to neighboring counties to receive their vaccines, but just today Mercy opened a registration link and we are on the cusp with other area entities to do the same. We are hopeful that in the coming weeks any of our dental professionals who want it, will be able to be vaccinated.”
Dr. Mitchell added, “It’s been frustrating to say the least. We’ve been determined at the office to find any way to get it. I’ve called my State Senator and I’ve reached out obviously to you all to get some sort of relief.”
He said after registering for the vaccine he’s been told finally today — he may not have an appointment date yet but he will notified as soon as vaccine supply is available