What does the COVID-19 vaccine mean for the dental industry?

The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program is rolling out across the country. According to the December 14 survey conducted by the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute, 84% of dentists felt that it was either “extremely important” or “very important” for dental providers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This was especially evident among older dentists, specialists, and dentists in large group practices. The vast majority of respondents also noted that their practice is not currently offering rapid response COVID-19 testing. Complete results of the survey can be found here.

Where does the dental industry fit into the COVID-19 vaccination program?

As recommended by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, phase 1a of the program prioritizes healthcare workers, including dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. With vaccine administration being managed at the state level, there is some variation among states on exactly where dentists fit in compared to other healthcare workers. For that reason, the ADA has developed a helpful state-by-state map where individuals can see how dental providers are being prioritized. In the vast majority of states, dentists are listed as part of phase 1a, while a few states have them in phase 1b, and others have yet to determine their priority level. States also vary on whether or not a dental provider can administer the vaccine to others at this time.

Will providers supported by MDP receive the COVID-19 vaccination?

In accordance with state prioritization guidelines, many supported providers and team members have already received their first COVID-19 vaccination. Not only will vaccinations keep our team members safe, but it will ensure that patients who come into our practices remain safe as well. As each of us awaits our turn to be vaccinated, we are making sure that dental offices we support remain as safe as ever. We will continue to implement extra safety measures, as recommended by the ADA and CDC, in addition to the infection control procedures we have always followed. Our highest priority is the well-being of each person that walks through our doors.