COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Any individual ages 5-plus who lives, studies, or works in Massachusetts can receive a COVID-19 vaccination by contacting their primary care physician or through a local pharmacy (e.g. CVS, Walgreens, etc.) or through the state's COVID-19 Vaccine Finder webpage.
Additionally, all individuals ages 18 and over who are fully vaccinated are eligible to receive a booster shot. The booster should be administered at least six months after the individual received their second vaccine shot.
For all questions regarding safety, efficacy, and other expectations for your vaccination, we encourage you to visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine webpage.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Can You Mandate Staff to Get Vaccinated?Now that the COVID-19 vaccines are finally here, many dental practice owners may be wondering if they can mandate that their dental staff get vaccinated. Locally, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is not mandating the COVID-19 vaccine, but the DPH does stress that the vaccine has been shown to be highly effective at preventing illness and is an important tool in the fight against COVID-19 and in keeping your patients and community safe from continued spread of the virus. According to guidance issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers who want to encourage or possibly require COVID-19 vaccinations must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This means that if you implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in your practice, you must make exceptions for employees who cannot be vaccinated due to a disability, medical complications, pregnancy, or sincerely held religious beliefs, and provide reasonable accommodations, such as allowing the staff person to work remotely or take a leave of absence.
Rather than implementing a vaccine mandate, the MDS advises practice owners to focus instead on educating team members on the public health importance of the vaccine and encouraging them to get vaccinated. To motivate team members to get vaccinated, practice owners could:
- Engage in dialogues with team members to discuss the vaccine and its critical impact in slowing the spread
- Set an example for staff and get the vaccine yourself
- Make obtaining the vaccine as easy as possible for staff
- Provide paid time off for staff to get vaccinated and recover from any potential side effects
It’s also important to remember that all the safeguards put into place at the start of the pandemic (e.g., PPE, hand hygiene, disinfecting protocols, patient screening, social distancing measures, etc.) are still required since it's possible that not every staff member or patient will choose to be vaccinated. Remind your team members—even those who’ve received the vaccine—to continue to follow the recommended guidelines. For other vaccine-related questions, check out the ADA's COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dental Workplace: FAQs for Practice Owners on COVID-19 vaccines and the MDS COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ found on this page.
COVID-19 Vaccine Questions and Answers
COVID-19 Vaccine and Your Patients
Resources for Dental Health Care Professionals
Information on COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. The MDS has made every attempt to ensure that information is up-to-date, but with rapid changes occurring some information may have changed since publication. The date of publication is noted at the top of the page. Please visit www.coronavirus.gov or www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.