Supreme Court blocks COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate: What it means for dentists

The Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 13 that there will be no federal COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's mandate would have required all workplaces with 100 or more employees regardless of industry or risk of exposure to COVID-19 to enforce a vaccination mandate. It would have affected 84.2 million employees.

"With the low infection rates within our profession, dentistry has proven its ability to mitigate risk while providing essential health care," American Dental Association President Cesar Sabates, DDS, said in an ADA press release. "Dental teams continue to implement enhanced infection control protocols, and as of June 2021, nearly 90% of dentists were fully vaccinated. The ADA strongly encourages all members of the dental team to be vaccinated if they have not been already."

COVID-19 vaccination is still required for dentists working in federally funded healthcare facilities, Medicare and Medicaid facilities, the Indian Health Service and those with hospital privileges. This applies to clinical and nonclinical staff and does not apply to private practices that serve Medicare and Medicaid patients.

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