Dental professionals will be included in the state’s first-phase distribution of COVID-19 vaccine shots. California will receive 327,000 doses of the vaccine in the first state shipment expected mid-December, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Health care workers and long-term care facility residents will be among the first to receive the initial doses followed by other providers on the front lines and those who are caring for patients, including dental teams. CDA has been fiercely advocating for dental teams to be included in Phase 1a. This news from the state is an important recognition of dental teams’ priority in providing care to their patients.
CDPH on Dec. 5 released guidelines detailing in which order essential health care workers will receive the vaccine during Phase 1a of the distribution. The plan is layered into three tiers categorized in ranking order, with namely hospital staff in tier 1, community clinic staff in tier 2 and dentistry in tier 3.
Tier 3 is reserved for health care providers who provide essential health care in less risky settings, comparatively. Dental professionals have been placed in this category due to the safety measures that dentistry has implemented since the onset of the pandemic and because there have been no documented COVID-19 transmissions during the provision of dental care.
CDPH expects that all essential health care workers identified in Phase 1a will receive their first dose of the vaccine by the end of January 2021.
CDA, in coordination with local dental societies, will be reaching out to local health departments to ensure that county-specific for vaccinating individuals in Phase 1a are clear. CDA will keep members updated as more information becomes available.