Your patients are likely asking a lot of questions about the vaccine, as well. Here, get answers and find resources to help talk to your patients.
How can I talk to patients about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Prepare to answer questions about the vaccine from dental team members and patients. Most importantly, give your personal strong recommendation to get vaccinated. Learn more about engaging with patients on the COVID vaccine from the CDC:
Additional suggestions on how to discuss vaccination may be found in the following document:
Discussion guide:HealthNet and CDA offer a resource to assist with discussing COVID-19 vaccination with your patients.
How do I speak with patients who have religious concerns about vaccination?
In general, religions around the world support immunization. The Immunization Action Coalition offers several resources and suggestions for healthcare professionals who see patients with religious concerns about vaccination.
What is the best way for patients to manage their side effects post-vaccination? Where should those be reported?
Patients and staff can track any side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine by enrolling in V-safe, a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after someone receives a COVID-19 vaccine. Utilizing V-safe is a quick way to inform the CDC of any side effects and offers reminders for second vaccine doses.
My patient informed me he received the COVID-19 vaccine. Do I still need to implement the same precautions as I do for other patients without the vaccine?
Yes. Until further notice, it is important that you maintain the same COVID-19 prevention precautions in the practice consistently among all patients. According to the CDC, experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers are still conducting studies on how long the vaccine is efficacious for, and whether booster vaccines are necessary. Other factors, including when the vaccine was received, whether the patient has received the second dose, how many people become vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.
My patient asked if I’m requiring all employees of the practice to receive the vaccine. The patient doesn’t want treatment until all employees receive the vaccine. What should I tell this patient?
As the employer, it is important that you protect and keep your employees’ health and health status information confidential, therefore, disclosing whether your employees have or will receive the vaccine is not information you can, nor should share with patients.
A sample response to the patient who asks this question is, “Employee health and medical information is protected by the right to privacy, but please be assured that our dental practice is continuing to do all it can to ensure patient safety." Further, explain to the patient the protections (such as PPE, staggering of patient appointments, patient and employee daily screenings, social distancing and additional patient barriers) your practice has put in place to mitigate COVID-19 exposure and keep patients safe.