While no new mandate has been issued for a follow-up vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech booster is now available to health care workers, including dentists.
Fully vaccinated dentists are eligible for the Pfizer booster vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation last month to health care workers and other essential personnel who are at greater risk for contracting disease to receive the booster.
Per the recommendation, dentists should get their third dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months after having completed the first series of two shots.
Given the public health need, officials expect forthcoming amendments to the requirement for being fully vaccinated to include the booster.
Clinical trials show that the Pfizer booster increased immunity in those who had received the initial series six months prior.
At the moment, however, the CDC recommends the booster for people over the age of 65 and people with underlying health conditions or if they face an increased risk for catching COVID-19.
The effectiveness of the vaccine might decrease over a period of time, studies show. So, the CDC issued the recommendation to address the vaccine’s shelf life and emerging variants, such as the Delta variant.
It’s important to note that the FDA has yet to issue an approval for an authorized booster for Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines. More information is expected soon.
Dental practices subject to vaccine requirements will reimburse employees for their time and any costs for getting the booster. They should also provide on-site access or resources that help employees get vaccinated.
Practice owners should also accommodate the scheduling needs of their employees to give them an opportunity to comply with vaccine mandates and stay protected from disease spread.