BADN welcomes key worker and vaccine statements

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the professional association for dental nurses in the UK, has welcomed confirmation that dental teams, including dental nurses, are considered key workers, and will be given priority for COVID vaccinations.

BADN President Jacqui Elsden said “Because government statements did not specifically include dental professionals in their list of key workers, many dental nurses have experienced problems in accessing childcare, leaving them unable to go to work – and many dental employers have been unsympathetic to their situation. Clarification on the key worker status of dental professionals in the latest update from Sara Hurley is therefore most welcome and will help to alleviate the problems currently faced by dental nurses.

“Equally, the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week confirmed that dental professionals will be prioritised for the Covid vaccinations is greatly welcomed and will put many dental nurses’ minds at ease.

“Information on the current situation is included on the Covid pages of our website and updated whenever we receive new information.”

CDO confirms dental professionals and their teams are now being prioritised for a Covid-19 vaccine

Following Boris Johnson’s answer in the House of Commons to Craig Whittaker MP’s question over whether dental team members in patient-facing roles would qualify as ‘health workers’ as part of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, CDO England, Sara Hurley, and deputy CDOs Eric Rooney and Jason Wong have confirmed that dental professionals and their teams are now being prioritised for a Covid-19 vaccine.

“This means that dental teams supporting the NHS, those working in private or mixed practices will all be entitled to a vaccine, this includes specialist practices and clinical dental technicians registered with the CQC,” the CDO and deputies stated. “Dental professionals who work for a NHS trust will fall within the vaccination programme co-ordinated through their trust.​ Locum clinical staff employed by the practice and non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients but are not directly involved in patient care (e.g. receptionists and cleaners) are also included. 

“As frontline health professionals, it is important that when you are called to be vaccinated you attend. Private practices are advised to ensure their contact details with the CQC are up to date as a matter of urgency. More detail is in this bulletin.”


Dental Protection has welcomed the announcement that the Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out to dental professionals as priority.

Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection said: “This news will come as a relief for dental professionals across the UK, who are some of the most exposed workers to the virus. The new Covid-19 variant, which is 70% more transmissible, poses a greater threat than ever before.

“Dental professionals always put the interests of their patients first, and remain committed to providing high standards of care. Prioritising dentists and dental teams to receive the Covid-19 vaccine acknowledges the essential healthcare service they continue to provide.”

England: Priority access to Covid-19 vaccine for dentists

Following last week’s authorisation of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine and updated guidance around increased spacing of second vaccine doses, we are beginning to see an acceleration in the vaccination programme across the UK.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has repeatedly sought reassurance about prioritisation for dentistry, from NHS England, the Office of the CDO and separately across the devolved nations. NHS England’s initial priority, in line with JCVI advice, is for those aged 80 and over, together with care home staff and residents. Frontline health and social care staff are included in the next priority group. NHS England has confirmed that dentists and their teams, both in the NHS and in the private sector, are included in that group of frontline staff and therefore sit in the JCVI’s priority group two.

On Wednesday, having been contacted by some of our members, Craig Whittaker MP challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson on priority access to the Covid-19 vaccine for dentists and their teams. Mr Whittaker echoed the BDA calls for confirmation that dentists are in vaccination priority group 2 together with all other healthcare workers. The Prime Minister confirmed that all dentists in patient facing roles and members of their teams are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. The BDA will continue to push for clear guidance and clarity on timings of the vaccination for all dental teams.

The BDA is aware that some dentists have been approaching their GPs to highlight their status as frontline staff. There are reports of variable responses from GP practices and others involved in vaccination programmes to these approaches from dentists and teams. The BDA has continued to raise that concern with NHS England and understand that clarification will be forthcoming, confirming the position of dentists and teams to those organising vaccination programmes.

Timeframes for vaccination of the primary care workforce will still inevitably, to some extent, depend on local operational arrangements, logistics and availability of vaccine stocks. The BDA anticipates NHS contractors being contacted directly and that up-to-date CQC registration details will be important for private practices.

Oral Health Foundation: “Decision to finally offer boys a HPV vaccination is one which will save many lives”

The decision to offer boys a vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), announced yesterday by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been hailed by the Oral Health Foundation as a decision that will save thousands of lives every year.

The charity believes the decision, which has been under consideration since 2013, will lead to many lives being saved due to the vaccination’s ability to prevent HPV related mouth cancer, as well as other life-threatening diseases.

Under the current programme almost 400,000 boys go unvaccinated every year, which has millions at risk of developing HPV related cancers later in life – cancers which are on the increase.

Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, discussed this momentous ruling: “This decision has been an incredibly long time coming and one we firmly believe it will be a significant moment in the ongoing battle against many types of cancer in the UK.

“This decision brings to and end what has been a dangerously discriminatory and unfair HPV vaccination programme in Britain, which has left millions of boys and men unprotected from the biggest sexually transmitted infection in the world.

“HPV is one of the leading causes of mouth cancer; but now we hope that with the swift implementation of the vaccination programme we will see a significant reduction in these numbers.

“Since 2008, girls have been offered a HPV vaccination through a school based programme to protect against cervical cancer, but this has been proven to offer little protection for men from life-threatening diseases caused by HPV; including mouth, penile and anal cancers as well as genital warts.”

Every year more than 7,500 Brits are diagnosed with mouth cancer, with the disease claiming in excess of 2,000 lives – more than testicular and cervical cancer combined.

“There has also been overwhelming support for the vaccine from health professionals and public alike,” added Dr Carter.

“A recent poll from campaign group HPV Action discovered that 97 per cent of dentists and 94 per cent of GPs believe that the national HPV vaccination programme should cover both boys and girls, we have also seen roughly 84 per cent of the public support an extended vaccination programme.

“It has become very apparent that the only certain way to protect boys effectively from HPV is through a national vaccination programme and now this has finally come to fruition we will push for it to be implemented swiftly and effectively so we can ensure that it is most effective in saving lives in the future.”