Dental professionals in England will be prioritized in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, according to Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer England. This includes dental teams that support the National Health Service (NHS), those that work in private or mixed practices, and specialist practices and clinical dental technicians registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Dental professionals who work for an NHS trust will fall within the vaccination program coordinated through their trust. Clinical staff as well as non-clinical ancillary staff who may have contact with patients but who are not directly involved in care, such as receptionists and cleaners, also are included in the prioritization.
“As frontline health professionals, it is important that when you are called to be vaccinated, you attend. Private practices are advised to ensure their contact details with the CQC are up to date as a matter of urgency,” Hurley said.
“We have the PPE, we have access to testing, we are sharing the message loud and clear that practices are open and now we have access to the vaccine, too,” she said.
“Dentistry is an essential medical service, not an optional extra. Patients need to and deserve to see their dental teams, and the vaccine rollout is another important next step in the fight against COVID-19 and restoring NHS dentistry,” Hurley said.
The NHS will directly contact dental professionals who work in primary care dentistry via the email address their practice is registered with. Once the NHS has the total number of people who are eligible for the vaccine, it will begin contacting practices about appointment times for receiving it, likely at their local hospital.
NHS trusts will organize vaccinations for the dental professionals that work for them. Dental professionals in private dentistry need to ensure that the CQC has their contact information so the NHS can begin organizing those vaccinations.
Additionally, Hurley expressed gratitude that dental professionals have been volunteering to support the vaccination program and completing online training so they can be deployed to help administer vaccines.