LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arriving in our state, we will need lots of people to administer them. Hundreds of dentists statewide are ready to give the vaccine, when and if the governor calls them in for emergency help.

State and county agencies have been fine-tuning a distribution plan for several weeks.

It is likely dentists would be pressed into service once we are ready for mass distribution, which could be weeks, maybe even months away. They would volunteer as part of the workforce.

“We’ve already got dentists across the state who have been reaching out to Health and Human Services, trying to sign up to volunteer,” said Dr. Mark Funke, president of the Nevada Dental Association. “Dentists, in general, we like to help. We want to help make a change in people’s lives, and I could see doctors actually close their office for a day or two just to go and help administer it.”

Dentists do more than purely focus on oral health. They must earn a doctorate degree, just like medical doctors, making them more than qualified to safely administer vaccines.

Funke says having pharmacists and dentists give shots would free up our frontline healthcare workers to care for those infected and being treated for the virus. Given the green light, dentists could help out for 120 days.