New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required for dentists in New Brunswick

COVID-19 vaccinations will not be mandatory for dentists in New Brunswick.

Key takeaways:

  • The New Brunswick Dental Society will not follow the province’s doctors in requiring dentists to have COVID-19 vaccinations.

The New Brunswick Dental Society will not follow the lead of the province’s doctors in requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for dentists.

According to executive director Paul Blanchard, while the organization supports vaccinations, it does not require them as a condition of licensure.

According to him, society believes that safety protocols put in place at the start of the pandemic and tweaked at regular intervals when necessary adequately protect patients.

“We have complete faith in our operational plan and infection-control guidelines, so we know patients are safe when they visit the dental office,” Blanchard said.

Also read: N.B. reports a new high of 177 new cases, with seven people on ventilators

“Our number one priority,” he said, is preventing the spread of diseases of all kinds, including HIV and hepatitis.

“As a result, we are confident that dental clinics are a safe place to be based on our operational plan and infection control guidelines.”

Dental offices have been open during the pandemic since May 2020, according to Blanchard, and “to our knowledge, there have been no known cases of transmission in the dental office.”

It’s also important to keep in mind that “the main benefit of the vaccine is to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death,” according to him.

If an individual is vaccinated, they can still spread the virus, which is where the other elements of the operational plan come in — social distancing if possible, mask use, and handwashing.

Vaccines should be made mandatory, according to a Canadian dental group.

The Canadian Dental Association demanded in September that “provincial and territorial governments take immediate action to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers, including oral health care professionals.”

Dentists, dental assistants, dental therapists, dental hygienists, and all other dental office employees, such as office managers and receptionists, are included in this group.

COVID-19 vaccinations will not be mandatory for dentists in New Brunswick.
COVID-19 vaccinations will not be mandatory for dentists in New Brunswick. Image from New Jersey

According to Dr. Aaron Burry, the group’s deputy chief executive officer, the decision was made because dentists have a higher duty of care to their patients.

“Having a higher duty of care means we take measures and actions that are more stringent than the general public,” he explained.

“As a result, we weren’t advocating for a blanket mandate. It was in solidarity with our other healthcare professionals that we proposed that governments consider mandating vaccination for all healthcare providers, including all healthcare providers.”

Blanchard said the board considered the Canadian associations and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick’s mandatory vaccines but did not change its mind.

Last month, the college decided to suspend unvaccinated doctors from practicing in the province as of Dec. 1. Dr. Ed Schollenberg said at the time that while an exact number wasn’t available, “fewer than ten” doctors had been suspended for failing to be vaccinated.

Schollenberg stated that the number had not changed and that none of the doctors had been vaccinated.

Source: CBC News

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