It is apparent that there is wide variation on how the vaccines are being appropriated amongst HCWs and the general population. This may be down to localised planning/ delivery or vaccine supply shortages. Some GPs are refusing to consider dentists and their team members as frontline staff. If you feel you would like to be vaccinated but have detected reticence on behalf of your GP, then ensure they have seen ‘The Green Book’ where Dentists are listed as frontline healthcare staff.
Greenbook chapter 14a COVID-19 v5 (publishing.service.gov.uk)
The secretary of the Herts LDC has summed up our frustrating situation perfectly in his email of 24th January 2021:
“Vaccinations for dental team members
I am somewhat frustrated, as I am sure you are, with the slow speed at which the vaccine is being offered. The information we were asked to collect, and have forwarded on, is finally being acted on. Some vaccination centres have been very proactive, others less so. Some centres now require additional information, the main one being dental team members’ NHS numbers. You should gather this if any of your members have not already been contacted. All practices that sent in team members’ details should have been contacted by the end of next week. If you have not been contacted by midday Friday 29 January please let me know.”
He has also forwarded this document which explains how your personal details will be shared. Sharing Information for Covid-19 Vaccination of Health & Care Staff
The Health Boards are managing the roll out of vaccines with different strategies. Here is an example of the largest Health Board in Scotland, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, from a document circulated on 21st January. All dentists and their teams had been offered the opportunity of having their first vaccine, at the end of December/early January.
- SECOND DOSE COVID VACCINES
- GG&C Health Board announced the timescales for 2nd Dose vaccines in a core brief
- You should receive an email or text with a link to book the next dose in the coming days.
- Contact details for anyone experiencing issues are detailed in the core brief
- The LAST CHANCE priority booking link for 1st doses is contained within the most recent GG&C Chief of Dentistry update. Please make sure you have shared this with everyone in your team.
- BECOMING A VACCINATOR
- As mentioned in previous updates, you should have received an invitation to apply to join the staff bank for administering the covid vaccinations via your nhs email address
- The process for training, applying and onboarding is currently extremely onerous
- The LDC have given robust feedback on the inadequacies of this process to both the Health Board and to National representatives (via SDPC).
- Scottish Government have now given the Boards a very clear directive to address the obstructive processes currently in place.
Great progress has been made on the vaccine front. Lobbying the minister for health and the OCDO may have played some part in the inclusion of the complete dental team into the vaccination programme earlier than initially scheduled.
We note that Stormont still has a £300M Covid related underspend and we will be making further representation on behalf of private dentistry.