With the current increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States (U.S.), this information will benefit not just dentists but all healthcare providers.
As of December 20, 2020, the following states are permitting dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine: Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, and West Virginia. The following states are allowing dentists to administer the influenza vaccine: Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and West Virginia. States that allow dentists to perform COVID-19 testing or order COVID-19 testing: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, South Dakota. For dentists that live in any of these states, please visit your specific state’s website regarding detailed information on any of these procedures. For information about the “priority” of healthcare workers for receiving the vaccination, review your state’s COVID-19 Vaccination plan.
There are two emergency use authorized (EUA), at home, over-the-counter diagnostic test kits for COVID-19:
- The Ellume COVID-19 Home Test Kit- a rapid antigen test; requires a nasal swab specimen; recommended for age 2+; for symptomatic and non-symptomatic use; used with a phone app; Cost is approximately $109.
- The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test Kit, a rapid antigen test; Prescription required; nasal swab specimen; for use within the first 7 days of onset of symptoms; recommended for age 15+ and age 4-14 with an adult collected specimen; Cost is approximately $25.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a wealth of resources that speak specifically to protocols that should be used in our practices. When the providers of healthcare get sick, they cannot work and provide key services for their patients and clients, so it is going to be important for healthcare providers to maintain an optimal level of health throughout this pandemic. Getting vaccinated and educating your communities about the vaccine will play a pivotal role in the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional information and resources for healthcare providers:
- COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for healthcare workers: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/vaccines/recommendations/hcp.html
- CDC recommendations for Vaccination Plans for healthcare workers: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/hcp/vaccination.html
- Building confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines Toolkit: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-systems-communication- toolkit.html
- Hand Sanitizer proper use, storage, and products that should not be used: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtlPiiuTZaU&feature=youtu.be www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda- updates-hand-sanitizers-consumers-should-not-use
- Updated ventilation improvements and tactics: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/ventilation.html