NC dentists administering COVID-19 vaccine following executive order

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Dr. Miguel Gonzalez is used to giving injections as a dentist. Now, he's also giving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry office in Cary is offering the shot on Wednesday and Thursday.

"We've had a lot of good feedback from the patients and appreciate being able to have it done while they're here at the dental office," Dr. Miguel Gonzalez said.

Governor Roy Cooper's Executive Order 193 makes North Carolina one of at least 20 states allowing dentists to administer the vaccine.

Dentists must complete online COVID-19 training programs required by the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners.

Patients said there's a comfort of getting the shot at their dental office.

"It's easier," said Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry patient Stephanie Morris, of Cary. "It's familiar."

"I come here to get my teeth cleaned so I know the office," said Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry patient Alex Zacco, of Cary. "It's right down the road."

Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry vaccinated more than 50 people at its Goldsboro office last week. The practice plans on offering vaccines at its Garner location next week.

Seven offices were approved to offer the vaccine and the practice hopes to eventually offer it at all 38 of their offices, said owner Dr. Michael Riccobene.

He said the shot is free and that they're not taking insurance.

"I feel like it's my duty as a health care provider to do this," Dr. Riccobene said. "I'm not making any money. In fact, we're actually procuring refrigerators. There's a lot of cost and training. We're burdening all the costs... I really feel like this is our giving back to society and giving back to our community to make sure that we're doing the right thing to get our economy back going and people getting back to some sense of normalcy of life."

If you're interested, you can call the Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry office closest to you to see if they're offering the vaccine.

For more information on how to get your vaccine, check here.
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