COVID-19 Vaccine Recommended for Children Age 5-11 Years Old. Children age 5-11 years old can now get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine following the vaccine’s FDA authorization and review by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC. The CDC continues to endorse a layered approach to prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic that includes vaccination, physical distancing, mask-wearing among other precautions for health care facilities. To learn more about the new vaccine recommendation, click here to read COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens. To read the FDA press announcement on the COVID-19 Vaccine authorization for children age 5-11, click here.

Health Care Providers Encouraged to Continue Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine for Pregnant People. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their webpage, COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, recommending that pregnant people and those who may become pregnant get the COVID-19 vaccine to avoid severe illness, pre-term birth and other pregnancy-related adverse outcomes from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The official guidance is based on data on COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness for pregnant people. New statistics from the CDC show that only 31% of pregnant people were fully vaccinated as of September 18, 2021 despite the increased risk of severe illness, death and adverse pregnancy outcomes due to COVID-19 in pregnant people. The CDC suggests health care providers strongly encourage those who may become pregnant, who are pregnant, and those who were recently pregnant to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can. To read the full details of the latest CDC announcement for vaccinating pregnant people, click here. To read the guidance, COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, in full detail, click here. (September 29, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates. On Thursday, September 9th, a COVID-19 vaccine mandate was announced for federal workers and government contract workers. In addition to the federal worker rules, there have been several other directives out of U.S Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Labor Department that will impact pediatric dental practice. Under the new rules from HHS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be requiring the vaccine for workers employed by Medicare and Medicaid-certified healthcare organizations. Our understanding is that this does NOT apply to private practice dentists who participate in Medicaid; we are awaiting guidance from CMS to confirm this point. Further, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be requiring businesses with over 100 workers - including educators and school staff – to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine or be tested weekly for SARS-CoV-2.

While the great majority of dentists are already fully  vaccinated (89.8% as of June 2021 according to the American Dental Association), please note that state mandates for health care workers may be broader than the federal vaccine mandate. The AAPD concurs with the ADA that dental professionals are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated, but that vaccinations should not be mandated.

Check out these selected resources to keep up to date on the new mandates and more: 

Vaccine Mandates by State: Who is, Who isn't, and How?

State Immunization Laws for Healthcare Workers and Patients: Immunization Administration Requirements For Hospital Employees

Tracking COVID-19 Vaccination Among Dentists

Guidance for Documenting Employee COVID-19 Vaccinations (ADA login required)

AAPD COVID-19 Status and Vaccines

Vaccine Recommended for Pregnant People. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their webpage, COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, recommending that pregnant people and those who may become pregnant get the COVID-19 vaccine to avoid severe illness, pre-term birth and other pregnancy-related adverse outcomes from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The official guidance is based on new data on COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness for pregnant people. To read the guidance in full detail, click here.

COVID-19 Vaccine for Children and Teens (CDC). The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is now recommended for 12-15 year-olds after the FDA expanded the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to include the adolescent age group for this vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for everyone age 12 and older. Find the new guidance for adolescents age 12-15 on their webpage COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens. Central topics include how the vaccine protects children and families, where to find a vaccine, tips for families on preparing for the visit to get the shot and more. Click here to view.

CDC Post-Vaccination Recommendations. The Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention has published their latest guidance on safe post-vaccination activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This webpage answers pressing questions on how you can go about your daily activities and resume being in close contact with others when you have been fully vaccinated. Can you visit with family who are not vaccinated? Do you still need to wear a mask in public? The website is helpfully outlined with three key topics so you can find the information you need with ease:

  • What’s changed,
  • What hasn’t changed, and
  • What we know and what we’re still learning.

Click here to visit When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated. For more in-depth guidance on the fully vaccinated, click here.

Masking children during COVID-19. From JAMA Pediatrics comes an article on the effects of masking children during times of emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors conclude that there is evidence that children’s respiratory function remains unchanged while mask-wearing. They make the case that mask-wearing can be considered a useful preventive measure of disease transmission for young children, especially when returning to school. To read Assessment of Respiratory Function in Infants and Young Children Wearing Face Masks During the COVID-19 Pandemic, click here. (March 8, 2021)

Communicating About COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Risk.  This resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is equipped with messages for staff that may need more information on the COVID-19 Vaccine and answers to common concerns that lead to vaccine hesitancy.  "Remember: If a person has concerns or questions, this doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t accept a COVID-19 vaccine. Sometimes people simply want your answers to their questions." Click here to read more. (March 4, 2021)

Empowering Healthcare Personnel. Out of the National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine, comes this tip sheet to help you empower staff - and their patients - in their decision making about vaccination during the pandemic. Dentists and practice managers may find this technique that puts knowledge and dialogue in the center of the issue may help encourage wider vaccine approval among staff and patient community. Visit the tip sheet, here.

ADA COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Resources. This comprehensive resource from the American Dental Association (ADA), highlights key topics related to the COVID-19 vaccine. Developed to guide dentists and practice managers navigating the vaccine administration process for themselves and their staff, viewers will have no problem finding helpful fact sheets, FAQs as well as an interactive map. 

To access the ADA COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Resources webpage, click here.

National Trends in the US Public’s Likelihood of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine-April 1 to December 8, 2020. For months, the world has awaited the development of a vaccine to begin the rebound from health and economic adversity stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the vaccine has arrived, what is the outlook for vaccine uptake in the U.S.? New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looks at how attitudes have changed over the course of the pandemic and the current public acceptance toward the vaccine. To access the article, click here. (January 4, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for Persons with Underlying Medical Conditions. Developed to help patients make informed decisions about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, this reference page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides topics to review for groups of people who are at greater risk of developing severe illness from contracting SARS-CoV-2.  (December 30, 2020)

COVID-19 Vaccination: Clinical and Professional resources. This page for clinicians contains guidance on vaccine administration, storage and handling, reporting and patient education. Website visitors can also find instructions on how to use the V-safe App created to facilitate ongoing communication between patient and provider post vaccination. To visit the page, click here. (December 14, 2020)

Post Vaccine Considerations for Healthcare Personnel. Staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging and delicate process. This resource from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was developed to help minimize staffing disruptions when an employee experiences post-vaccine symptoms. Read more about post vaccine consideratios here. (December 14, 2020)

Healthcare Professionals: Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccination. This user friendly toolkit for clinicians offers evidence-based approaches to communicating with patients about vaccination. Learn about making a strong recommendation for the COVID-19 vaccination, answering vaccine recipients’ questions, understanding and explaining mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and more. View here. (December 14, 2020)

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination. A range of consumer and clinician questions are answered in this straight-forward and informative FAQ about COVID-19 vaccination from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Click here to find answers to key questions and links to supplementary sources for those eager to learn more. (December 14, 2020)

New ADA Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dental Workplace: FAQs for Practice Owners. As COVID-19 vaccines become available, you may be looking for answers about how to approach staff vaccination requirements and accommodations. The ADA has created a brief but information-filled fact sheet to help guide practice owners on the legal and practical considerations that come up when developing staff vaccination processes. Topics include how to manage religious exemptions, disability circumstances and more. Click here to read the ADA’s new COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dental Workplace: FAQs for Practice Owners.

 

More Resources:

COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for Persons with Underlying Medical Conditions. Click here to view. (December 30, 2020)

Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus. Click here to view. (December 14, 2020)

Post Vaccine Considerations for Healthcare Personnel. Click here to view. (December 14, 2020)

Vaccine Recipient Education. Click here to view. (December 14, 2020)

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination. Click here to view. December 14, 2020)