Family docs, dental hygienists push for role in Alberta vaccine rollout

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But Grisdale said the province hasn’t communicated with doctors who have reached out offering their services, leaving some with a bad taste in their mouths.

Dr. Noel Grisdale is a family doctor with a practice in Black Diamond, Alberta, south of Calgary. He is one of the family physicians pushing to help administer COVID-19 vaccines in Alberta. Supplied
Dr. Noel Grisdale is a family doctor with a practice in Black Diamond, Alberta, south of Calgary. He is one of the family physicians pushing to help administer COVID-19 vaccines in Alberta. Supplied Photo by Supplied /Supplied

“There’s a disconnect and there’s a lack of communication, I think,” he said. “Most of us respect and understand there’s a process they need to go through, but it’s a matter then of communicating to groups out there to say, ‘look, we are aware of your offer, you guys are a great resource, we definitely want you as part of the solution to meeting the needs for Albertans,’ but that communication isn’t happening.”

Grisdale said he couldn’t speak for all family physicians but predicted most would be happy to administer shots on a volunteer basis if it meant protecting the health of their patients.

Family physicians aren’t the only group of Albertans pushing to be part of the vaccination rollout strategy.

The regulatory body for the province’s more than 3,300 registered dental hygienists has requested a ministerial exemption to allow some of their members to administer vaccines during the pandemic.

“Administering a vaccine is a restricted activity under the Government Organization Act and currently registered dental hygienists in Alberta are not permitted to perform this restricted activity,” Amie Dowell, registrar and CEO of the College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta, said in an emailed statement.

“We are hopeful that this exemption will be considered for Alberta’s vaccination roll-out plans.”

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