CDO Sara Hurley confirms prioritisation of dental teams for COVID-19 vaccine
The chief dental officer for England has confirmed dental professionals and their teams will be prioritised for a COVID-19 vaccination.
In her latest news bulletin to the profession, Sara Hurley said all members of the dental team – including receptionists and cleaners – will qualify in NHS, mixed and private practices.
This also includes specialist practices and clinical technicians who are registered with the CQC.
She writes: ‘Dental professionals who work for an NHS trust will fall within the vaccination programme co-ordinated through their trust.
‘Locum clinical staff employed by the practice and non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients but are not directly involved in patient care (eg receptionists and cleaners) are also included.’
Private practices are advised to ensure their contact details with the CQC are up to date.
Additionally, she adds that commissioners can provide NHS dental staff with documentation that prove critical worker status.
Essential, not optional
She adds: ‘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.
‘Dentistry is an essential medical service, not an optional extra. Patients need to and deserve to see their dental teams. The vaccine roll out is another important next step in the fight against COVID-19 and restoring NHS dentistry.’
According to current government plans, dental teams should be offered the first dose of the vaccine by mid February.
They hope to have the first four priority groups vaccinated within this timeframe. Dental teams fall under the second group, which includes those over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers.
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