COVID-19 Vaccination Update
As states begin administering the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine across the U.S., we want to provide an update, based on the most currently available information, regarding vaccine prioritization for dentists and dental staff in Washington state.
As of Monday, Dec. 14, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has only released a final draft of Phase 1A
of its COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guidance (phases beyond 1A have not been finalized).
Phase 1A prioritizes workers in contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients and residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings.
Following questions from members regarding communications from DOH, we want to clarify that dentists and dental staff are not included in Phase 1A.
WSDA fully supports DOH’s decision to place workers who are in constant contact with those who are known to be infected with the virus and residents and staff of nursing homes in Phase 1A
of their vaccination plan. We also recognize that, as health care workers, dentists and dental staff are anxious to take the vaccine, and we are doing our best to ensure you are prioritized in Phase 1.
Both WSDA and ADA are recommending to DOH that states follow guidelines by the Department of Homeland Security
and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
which identify dentists as essential health care personnel who should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine as a priority.
Our discussions with DOH are ongoing. At this time, we are waiting for DOH to release the final vaccination plan, which will better detail the phase in which dentists and their teams can expect access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Once announced, we will update members and take any additional action, if necessary.
Vaccination Update - 1/19/21
COVID 19 Vaccine Locations:
Next Membership Meeting January 12th
Next Membership Meeting January 12th at 6pm via Zoom.
Crisis in America; Opioids-Vaping-Human Trafficking by Tija Hunter.
Please contact email@example.com
for meeting login in information.
New Infection Control Training Update
On Oct. 23, the Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) adopted new dental infection control rules. As a part of the new rules, dental practitioners will be required to complete one hour of current infection prevention standards education annually by a qualified individual or organization.
DQAC’s Infection Control Committee still needs to address a few items, such as the date by which the training will be due and the means by which the training can be administered, and will be meeting in the near future to make a determination and provide clarification.
WSDA recommends that members wait until the Committee provides clarification before taking infection control training to satisfy the new requirement to avoid the possibility of the training not qualifying.
Future Member Benefit – Infection Control Training
After receiving clarification from the Committee, WSDA will develop an infection control training that meets the new requirements and will offer it as a member benefit to all WSDA members and their staff. Please continue to watch for updates from WSDA in the coming weeks regarding dental infection control requirements.
On Friday, Dec. 11, the Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) determined that it is within a dentist’s scope of practice to administer COVID-19 vaccines during the current state of emergency. The Commission will formalize this determination by creating an interpretive statement on the matter. Additionally, the Commission will undergo emergency rulemaking to allow dentists to delegate the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to dental hygienists.
The next step will be to receive authorization from the Governor. WSDA’s lobbying team is actively engaging with the Governor’s office and will provide an update as soon as possible.
New Restrictions Don't Limit Dental Care
WSDA has received direct confirmation from the Governor’s Office that the restrictions announced do NOT place any new limits on dental care or health care delivery more broadly.
Over the last several weeks, WSDA leadership has been actively involved in discussions with the Governor’s Office, Department of Health, and other health care organizations related to updates to Proclamation 20-24.1 Reducing Restrictions on, and Safe Expansion of, Non-Urgent Medical and Dental Procedures. Discussions related to updating this proclamation are ongoing and it’s unknown when an updated proclamation will take effect.
Based upon conversations to date, delivery of preventive care and care that, if delayed, would result in patient harm will continue to be permitted and strongly encouraged in the updated proclamation. WSDA, and many other health care organizations, will continue to advocate for the continuation of health care delivery consistent with what is currently allowed under Proclamation 20.24.
Providers Needed on DentistLink's urgent care network!