Meharry Medical College (MMC) President & CEO Dr. James Hildreth, left, and President Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, right, spoke during a virtual ‘fireside chat’ on the COVID-19 vaccine as presented by MMC and including issues discussed by Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon, DDS, dean of the MMC School of Dentistry. MMC image

By Clint Confehr

NASHVILLE, TN — Dentists ought to be inoculating people against COVID-19, according to doctors speaking on-line for a program hosted by Meharry Medical College.

Meharry President & CEO Dr. James Hildreth raised the idea during a ‘fireside chat’ on the COVID-19 vaccine with President Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Would it be advisable, Hildreth asked, to train medical personnel who don’t normally inoculate patients against disease?

“Absolutely,” Fauci said.

“It’s not only advisable,” Fauci said. “I think it should be recommended.”

That’s “because one of the things … that the President said at his Town Hall meeting [Tuesday],” Fauci continued. “We have a number of things we need to catchup on.

“We have a greater demand than there is supply of vaccine and we don’t have enough vaccinators; people who are actually sticking the needle in people’s arms,” Fauci said. “If you’re going to have dentists and dental students and oral hygienists, and all those involved in the dental profession — if you could get them involved in helping to administer vaccines — I would think that would be a big boon.”

Hildreth agreed, adding, “We look forward to being able to doing that here at Meharry and in Tennessee.”

The Tennessee Tribune plans an expanded story on this in the next print edition of the newspaper for the week of Feb. 25-March 3.

Clint Confehr

Clint Confehr — an American journalist since 1972 — first wrote for The Tennessee Tribune in 1999. His news writing and photography in South Central Tennessee and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical...