JUST over a quarter of dental nurses have not yet received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination according to a survey conducted by the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN).
Both BADN and the College of General Dentistry (CGDENT) are warning of a “potential catastrophe for dental patients” if the planned implementation of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for all patient-facing staff in England is not deferred.
The survey which is based on the responses of over 1,000 practising dental nurses shows that 26 per cent have not yet received two vaccination doses, and 24 per cent will not have been double-vaccinated by the deadline of 1 April 2022.
A further 32 per cent of respondents have said they do not intend to take up the offer of a ‘booster’ dose which suggests increased staffing problems if the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is later amended to require three doses.
Dr Abhi Pal, President of the College of General Dentistry, and Jacqui Elsden, President of the British Association of Dental Nurses and an Associate Member of the College, said: “Dental nurses are a vital part of the team, without whom dental care cannot be delivered, and the BADN’s data will only strengthen existing concerns in practices across the country.
“Tens of millions of dental appointments have been missed during the pandemic, but while welcome additional funding has just been announced by NHS England to help tackle the backlog during February and March, losing up to a quarter of dental nurses from 1 April would lead to a precipitous reduction in care provision, quickly reversing any progress made and leaving millions of dental patients once again unable to get the treatment they need.
"We urge the government to defer implementation of the vaccination requirement for dental employers in order to avert a calamitous own goal.”
The survey remains open and can be accessed on SurveyMonkey and the full results will published later.