About 300 dental assistants receive COVID-19 vaccinations as latest Butler County group

About 300 Butler County dental hygienists, those who work extremely close to patients who aren’t wearing protective masks, received their first dose of Moderna’s vaccine Friday morning at the Butler County Fairgrounds.

Jennifer Bailer, commissioner of the Butler County General Health District, said this was the second large clinic for a “targeted audience.” Because of their work environment, Bailer described dental hygienists as members of a “high risk group.”

One of those who received his vaccination was John Tranovich, a dental assistant in Monroe. When asked if it’s frightening working in his profession during the coronavirus pandemic, he said: “It’s frightening going out in public in general.”

Those who received their vaccinations will wait at least 28 days until the second dose, Bailer said. After the first vaccine, their immunity should be about 65 percent, and will increase to about 95 percent after the second dose, she said.

Moderna was administered by registered nurses from the Butler County General Health District during a drive-through vaccination. After receiving their vaccinations, the hygienists had to wait about 15 minutes before they were allowed to leave the fairgrounds in case they had a reaction. A paramedic from the Fairfield Twp. fire department was on hand in case of an emergency, she said.

Matt Haverkos, director of the Butler County Emergency Management Agency, said numerous departments worked together during the vaccination. He said the EMA helped with logistics such as traffic control and mapping.

“All hands on deck” is how he described the procedure. “We want to get this in as many arms as quickly as possible.”

Bailer asked that residents “please be patient” as the health department follows Gov. Mike DeWine’s vaccination guidelines. She said the health department receives 330 doses, a “very small” amount, every week.

“We can’t get to everyone on the first day,” she said.

Next week, she said, those residents 80 and older will receive their vaccinations, but instead of a mass distribution, the vaccinations will be scheduled. She said senior living facilities, those with the “most fragile” residents, will be contacted first.

Information about the next round of vaccinations will be posted on the health district’s web site soon, she said.

About the Author