PALM BEACH, Fla. — These days visits to the dentists look a lot different.
“You call from the parking lot when you arrive, they call you when they are ready for you to put you in the chair,” Tom Markert said. “All the people in the dentist’s office had the right PPE on.”
For 63-year-old Tom Markert safety in a pandemic in paramount.
“I do feel like that dentists ought to be prioritized,” he said.
Here is Florida dentists aren’t at the top of the list to receive or administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’ve been very busy,” Dr. Mitchell Josephs said.
Dr. Josephs reopened his Palm Beach practice in early May after the state lifted a mandated closure. Back then we showed you the extra-oral suction devices he was using in hopes of keeping patients safe from the virus. Now he is ready for the next step.
“We have had a letter submitted to the governor of Florida and we are waiting for an executive order that will allow dentists to give the vaccine,” he said. “When that happens, we should receive shipments of vaccine, just like internal medicine doctors.”
He says getting vaccinated wasn’t easy.
“We have not been called in by any type of healthcare facility saying okay now we are doing the dentists.”
Dr. Josephs is on staff at a local hospital and says he was still told to wait.
“And I said I’d like to get a vaccine, I’m on staff and she said oh, but you’re not first tier,” Dr. Josephs recalled.
He recently was able to get vaccinated through his doctor— he says now his focus is being able to administer the vaccine.
“We’re waiting with bated breath,” he said.