Should I ask patients if they’ve received a COVID vaccine?
Now that COVID vaccines have been readily available for all age groups for some time, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea to ask patients about their vaccination status.
Are you allowed to ask patients if they’ve received a COVID vaccine? The question doesn’t break any rules but it may not be a great idea.
Patients may not be forthcoming
Patients are not always forthcoming about sharing their medical history with their dentist. Patients may have their reasons including embarrassment, philosophy/religion or simply because they’re unsure. Some patients might feel that it’s not something their dentist has to know.
Your safety precautions won’t change
Your safety protocols will not change depending on a patient’s vaccine status. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that every patient be treated as if they are potentially infectious. This should be your policy both in and out of the pandemic.
There are other viruses and infectious diseases
While the COVID pandemic is a serious situation that calls for additional precautions, the reality is that it’s just one of many viral diseases that your patients could be infected with. Apply the same standard precautions no matter who is in your chair.
Inform and educate
As a medical professional, it is reasonable for you to provide information to patients regarding the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID prior to receiving dental treatment. Feel free to hand out flyers or include educational posts on your website or social media pages. Do recommend that patients get vaccinated before they make an appointment and educate them as to why.