Can I as a health care employer require my employees to get COVID-19 vaccines?
If I require staff members to be vaccinated, what proof can I request them to provide?
What should I do if a staff member refuses to be vaccinated?
These questions as well as a half-dozen others regarding the responsibility and obligations of owner dentists when it comes to vaccination and their team members are answered in a new FAQ sheet prepared by the ADA, COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dental Workplace: FAQs for Practice Owners.
Other questions answered include:
• If I require my staff to be vaccinated, must I pay for the vaccine and/or provide paid time off for them to receive the shot(s) (or pay for time off in the case of side effects)?
• What if I require a vaccination and a staff member suffers an adverse reaction?
• May staff members who have been vaccinated refuse to wear a mask and socially distance?
• Can I tell patients if my staff members are vaccinated?
In addition, the FAQ addresses the vaccine requirements regarding the accommodation of team members with disabilities, including pregnancy-related disabling health conditions, as well as employees with genuinely held religious beliefs that prevent them from receiving a vaccine.
The ADA also offers a Q&A on vaccines for employee dentists.
As of June 2021, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute, 93.4% of dentists surveyed reported having received at least one vaccine dose, and 89.8% reported they were fully vaccinated. As of late July, 72.7% of surveyed dental hygienists were fully vaccinated, and 78.2% had received at least one dose.
For more information on the ADA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit ADA.org/virus.