COVID-19 vaccination guidance
COVID-19 vaccinations for the dental team
We encourage everyone who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated. This is in keeping with the Standards for the Dental Team, which require you to provide a safe environment for patients (1.5) and to manage the risks posed to patients and colleagues by your health (9.2). This applies to dental professionals across the UK, in all settings.
This normally means you should be vaccinated. If you cannot be vaccinated then you need to follow clinical guidance to protect yourself, colleagues and patients. This also applies to students and trainees.
COVID-19 vaccines are recognised around the world as being safe and effective. This position is supported by the UK’s medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA): "Vaccines are the best way to protect people from COVID-19 and have already saved tens of thousands of lives. Everyone should continue to get their vaccination when invited to do so unless specifically advised otherwise."
The MHRA and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have provided further information for healthcare professionals in relation to COVID-19 vaccines.
Government no longer requires dental professionals to be vaccinated
The Government previously planned to make vaccination a legal requirement for health and care workers in England. The lower impact of the Omicron variant, however, led to a changed risk assessment and the legal requirement was withdrawn.
Our expectations for all UK dental professionals are unaffected by this change.
Advice to give to patients on vaccination
Dental professionals should direct patients towards relevant, reliable, sources of information to help them better understand the risks and benefits, for example the FAQ’s on vaccinations from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The JCVI has also provided further information on vaccines and vaccinations procedures that patients may find useful.
Dental professionals working as vaccinators
The UK Government has made changes to the law that provide a route for health professionals who do not work with medicines to become vaccinators for seasonal influenza and COVID-19. The approach provides training and supervision. Dental professionals will need to be sure their indemnity arrangement sufficiently covers the activity.
Dental professionals must not work with medicines unless they are trained, competent, indemnified, and legally entitled to do so.