Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants at most California practices will be required to provide proof of flu immunization this year.

Many counties mandate licensed health care facilities ensure that their workers are protected against the illness during flu season, which typically runs between September and May.

As of November, practices in Yolo, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Madera, Placer, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Sonoma, and Tehama counties are under a vaccination order issued by individual county health departments.

Vaccination orders, which are usually issued by a county public health officer, may include other requirements. An example of such a requirement would be if a health care worker declines to receive a flu vaccination – they would need to provide a signed declination.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, flu vaccinations within dental offices will help reduce the anticipated strain on health care systems.

The CDC states that the flu shot is one of the most important measures you can take this year to lower the number of illnesses, hospital trips, and even deaths.

Some health experts fear a double surge of both flu and COVID-19, underlining the importance of preventive vaccinations this year.

Counties not under a flu shot health order can issue new orders or revise a previous order at any time.

Dental professionals with their own practices should consult with their home county for updates and guidance on protecting public health from influenza.

To view a list of counties and their status on vaccine orders, go here.

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