The association representing dental workers in British Columbia wants to see their members included in an earlier phase of the province’s immunization strategy.
The B.C. Dental Association (BCDA) says it has sent a letter to Premier Horgan urging the government to add dental professionals in the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
“We need to ensure dental professionals and our most at-risk patients in all B.C. communities remain safe in our ongoing commitment to provide dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the association said in a press release issued Saturday.
The B.C. government unveiled a multi-phased vaccination plan for the province on Friday. Phase two — expected to begin as early as April — would include high-risk populations such as seniors over 80, hospital staff, general practitioners and other medical specialists, who have not been immunized.
However, the BCDA argues that dental care is an essential service and should be included in the second phase because it would make dental care safer for not only dental workers but patients as well.
Earlier access to the vaccine would also ensure “uninterrupted” access to emergency dental work for at-risk patients, according to the association, which says dental professionals are the only health care providers to provide “aerosol-generating dental procedures to patients who cannot wear a mask during treatment.”
The BCDA also points out that dental treatment is provided mainly outside of a hospital setting.