Dentist Lobbying for Phase 1A Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Shots

As the mass distribution for COVID-19 vaccines started, many front-line workers and other essential individuals have already received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccination. Many dental professionals are expressing their desire to consider their industry prioritized in the first phase of distribution. Dentist Covid vaccine must be highlighted as they might be able to help in distribution.

Many recommendations from institutions and associations state that local health departments should prioritize vaccinating dentists and their staff. Similar and relevant advice from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has arose.

They see and understand that dentistry is essential and highly-needed healthcare and that dentists and their staff are crucial healthcare workers.

Keeping the dental workforce and offices healthy is crucial these days to secure a safe and proper treatment for patients with oral problems and difficulties and need immediate care.

It also has stressed-out over and over that oral health is essential to overall health because undiagnosed and untreated dental disease has been linked with several systemic health conditions, including heart and lung diseases, diabetes, stroke, and some pregnancy complications.

Several states have defined their parameter on individuals who should be prioritized by health departments during Phase 1A.

Moreover, local health departments prioritize vaccinating other healthcare providers who are not immunized by hospitals and health systems and are not enrolled as providers themselves. These providers could include:

  • Home health workers
  • Hospice workers
  • Emergency medical services responders
  • Primary care practitioners
  • Free-standing emergency department, urgent care, pharmacy, and dialysis center providers not vaccinated by hospitals or healthcare systems
  • Dental providers
  • Public health employees who are at risk of exposure or transmission, such as vaccinators
  • Mobile unit practitioners
  • Federally-qualified health center providers
  • High-risk ancillary health care staff members

Long-time and new dentists and others in the dental field have jumped on a recent petition to reconsider placing dentists into Phase 1A. Dentists and their staffs are also continually putting their health at risk as they render primary care to their patients.

Dr. Ashley Mann from Charles Ashley Mann, DDS & Associates, said that “Creating many aerosols by cleaning people’s teeth, drilling, and those aerosols are what’s causing the infection to spread.”

Based on NCDHHS’s latest vaccine distribution guidelines (dentist covid vaccine), dentists can be a part of Phase 1A only if they directly work with COVID-19 exposed patients. Their other chance is Phase 1B, where they could get a vaccine if they have two or more chronic conditions. If neither applies, they would need to wait until Phase 2.

But Mann and other dental practitioners think that’s too long of a wait. The petition states, “this would mean that dental professionals would only be vaccinated after every adult in the state with two or more chronic conditions are vaccinated. In short, dental professionals will be vaccinated months into the vaccination process.”

California receives additional doses of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, their health care workers, and congregate-care facility workers, and residents are beginning to receive their shots.

But workers in dental workplaces say they should be higher up on the recipient list in the state’s first vaccine distribution phase.

The state’s recent guidance for Phase 1A details the order of distribution to health care workers based on what setting they work in:

Tier 1

  • Acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals (includes residents)
  • Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing emergency medical services
  • Dialysis centers

Tier 2

  • Intermediate care facilities for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care
  • Home health care and in-home supportive services
  • Community health workers, including promotoras
  • Public health field staff
  • Primary Care clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics

Tier 3

Other settings and health care workers, including

  • Specialty clinics
  • Laboratory workers
  • Dental and other oral health clinics
  • Pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers

Meanwhile, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccination in the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program (Phase 1A) should be offered to both 1) healthcare personnel and 2) residents of long-term care facilities.

CDC defined healthcare personnel as paid and unpaid people serving in health care settings, which can potentially or indirectly expose patients or infectious materials. Long-term care facility residents are defined as adults who reside in facilities that provide various services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently.

The Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination for Healthcare Personnel Dentist Covid Vaccine

Examples of healthcare personnel include:  
  Emergency medical service personnel Nurses and nursing assistants Physicians Technicians Therapists Dentists Dental hygienists and assistants Pharmacists Students and trainees Contractual staff Dietary and food services staff Environmental services staff Administrative staff

Healthcare personnel, including dentists, continue to be on the front line of the nation’s fight against COVID-19. Healthcare personnel is at high risk of acquiring COVID-19 and experiencing severe symptoms, including death. Vaccinating healthcare personnel dramatically helps in preventing patients from getting COVID-19.

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