Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 8 signed CDA-sponsored legislation that gives California dentists permanent authority to provide influenza and COVID-19 vaccines and obtain the required state registration to process rapid COVID-19 tests in the dental office.
California health care workers must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or submit to weekly testing under a new statewide order. What are dentists’ responsibilities as employers when it comes to unvaccinated staff? And what are their employees’ rights?
A recent survey of practicing dentists in California shows that 94% of surveyed dentists are vaccinated against COVID-19, due in part to trustworthy COVID-19 vaccine resources published by CDA. The survey indicates that confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines is much higher among practicing dentists than it is among adults nationwide.
Several national chain pharmacies are now selling over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. While these tests have value in helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and potential future disease outbreaks, a rapid test appropriate for use in a dental or other health care setting has yet to be approved.
The Department of Consumer Affairs on March 30 issued two waivers that expand COVID-19 vaccinator eligibility to include California-licensed dentists and other health care providers with recently expired, inactive or lapsed licenses and health care students, including dental students.
CDA advocacy placed California ahead of the curve for enabling dentists to vaccinate individuals against COVID-19 when the Department of Consumer Affairs granted a public health emergency waiver on Jan. 4. Other states soon followed, passing legislation or issuing waivers and governors’ executive orders that allow dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccines.
An expected increase in California’s COVD-19 vaccine supply together with more efficient allocation of the vaccine through the new Statewide Vaccine Network are likely to affect dentists in two important ways in the coming weeks to next several months.
Dentists across California are beginning to get involved in the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts following an emergency public health waiver granted last month that allows dentists to administer the vaccine to individuals age 16 and older once the dentist completes the required training.
Get answers to commonly asked questions regarding the temporary scope expansion permitting dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Dentists will unlikely be able to administer in their practices, but can be instrumentally helpful in mass vaccination community events launching soon.