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Why dentists should speak with their patients about COVID-19 vaccination

May 26, 2021 3341

You're an influencer 

As a health care professional, you are a trusted advisor and influencer of vaccination decisions, and the public generally trusts public health bodies when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine information. A recommendation from a health care provider is one of the strongest determinants of vaccine acceptance. 

Flex your muscle

However, dentists often underestimate the importance of their recommendations. A strong recommendation to get vaccinated, assuming the person is willing to be vaccinated, has been shown to increase uptake. If you include a question about COVID-19 vaccination to your patient intake, it provides advance information and allows you to address it with the patient at the visit.

For example: "I can see from today's intake form that you have not received your COVID-19 vaccine."

Such announcements signal your confidence in the vaccine and help establish vaccination as the norm. This is more effective at increasing uptake than more hesitant language (such as "What do you think about getting the COVID-19 vaccine today?"). 

Vaccination hesitancy talking points for the dental profession:

COVID-19 vaccine went through thorough scientific review and was found to be safe and effective. 

  • COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA, including the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective. Many clinical trials were conducted and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine has been verified.
  • There may be minor side effects after vaccination.
  • The safety of COVID-19 vaccine will continue to be the nation's top priority.

California is working aggressively to expedite the distribution process equitably.

The COVID-19 vaccine is being made available on a phased basis that is determined by health professionals, community groups and stakeholders and according to identified urgent-need groups and vaccine supply levels.

Despite the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, Californians must remain vigilant in the effort to Stop the Spread.

All individuals, including those who have been vaccinated, should keep wearing masks, washing their hands and practicing social distance until we bring an end to the pandemic.

Following the 5Ws is the best way to protect others and help bring an end to the pandemic:

  1. Wear a mask whenever outside your home (CDC says it's best to layer masks)  
  2. Wash your hands frequently 
  3.  Watch your distance 
  4.  Wait to see loved ones or attend social gatherings 
  5.  When it's your turn, get vaccinated 

Now more than ever, everyone's actions can make a measurable difference in getting all of us through the pandemic. The best thing each of us can do is to not let our guard down.

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