A Kildare-based dentist says he doesn't feel he can go back to work safely until he's vaccinated against COVID-19.
He said dentists are ready and prepared to 'play their part' in the fight against the virus, but he has called on health officials to step up the vaccination programme so that can happen.
It comes as the Irish Dental Association says they've been told dentists will be among the frontline groups prioritised for vaccination in the coming months.
However, they today said they've received no timetable of when that might happen - and have raised concerns dentists will be "left at the back of the queue".
The association has criticised the Government for 'sidelining the dental profession in the midst of the biggest health crisis this country has faced'.
John, who is based in a dental practice in Leixlip, told Lunchtime Live he needs to be vaccinated before going back to work safely.
He said: “I think [dentists are] very vulnerable.
"I’m 60 years of age… I had a few cardiac stents placed last year. We're so near this vaccine now, I just don’t want to die stupidly.
"Why should I risk my life, or the health of myself, my team or patients that attend our office?"
He stressed that dentists are "absolutely excellent" when it comes to infection management, and you "won't hear" of many dentists having contracted the virus as a result of their measures.
However, he said he believes they can play more of a role in combatting the virus - and he'd personally love to be able to open up his office to serve the community and country.
He observed: “It’s very easy to beat up the HSE - I think they’re doing a tremendous job... they've rolled out their gold-standard PCR testing. But now I think they need to do better on the vaccination front.
“It’s just a pity that with all of that expertise Government doesn’t use us better.
“Dentist want to play their part... They’re hugely motivated, chomping to get in there and get in there and fight this good fight like other jurisdictions are doing in Europe.
“This is a war against a serious infection that can injure our families and friends. I honestly don’t want to wait.”