Minnesota dentists could soon give COVID-19 vaccinations

The Minnesota House and Senate have passed bills giving dentists the legal authority to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations. That legislation is now on its way to the desk of Governor Tim Walz, awaiting his expected signature that would pave the way for dentists to join the list of medical professionals allowed to administer the antiviral shots.

Dr. Michael Perpich operates several clinics in the metro area and told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he is “excited” to provide Minnesotans with the vaccine.

"I think the more people that are able to give out the vaccine the better it is for everyone," Perpich said. "I think as fast as we can get people vaccine the better and I think it is really good news that dentists are going to be able to administer the vaccine and help take care of the people of Minnesota."

Perpich said he expects dentists will not, in the short-term, have doses of the vaccine in their offices and clinics, but will be among many medical professionals on hand to give the shots to people in mass clinics across the state.

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"I feel comfortable giving the vaccine because I give shots in the mouth all the time for nerve blocks and I do fillings, crowns, root canals and extractions," Perpich said. "Giving the COVID vaccinations will be much easier than doing any of those other procedures."

Carmelo Cinqueonce, executive director of the Minnesota Dental Association, told KSTP dentists give shots every day and are legally allowed to administer flu shots, which should give reassurance to the public that dentists are capable and will give COVID vaccinations properly and safely.

"There are 4,000 dentists across the state and they do this all the time, and now they will be able to give the COVID vaccination as well in every corner of the state," Cinqueonce said.

"While the supply of COVID vaccines has yet to meet its great demand, when that moment arrives Minnesota will be better prepared by allowing our dentists to administer this vaccine," Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley, said in a statement. "Dentists are more than capable of handling this task, and allowing them to do so ensures that vaccines can be more readily available throughout the state."