Your patients look to you for health information and the COVID-19 vaccine is likely on their minds. However, dental assistants are not authorized to provide vaccine information, opinions or advice. When you’re asked about the COVID-19 vaccine, your best response is to:
- encourage patients to discuss the benefits and risks of vaccinations with their family physician or a qualified immunization provider
- refer patients to information from trusted sources to avoid COVID-19 misinformation
Here’s a trusted source of information you can refer them to: Alberta Health Services’ COVID-19 Vaccine Information. It addresses these questions and more:
- Who is currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
- When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available to the general public?
- Why is immunization important?
- What goes into making sure vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, are safe and effective?
- How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
- Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me a coronavirus infection?
Communicating with patients is an important part of your role. For guidance on responding to patients’ questions about health information, you can review:
- Standards of Practice (6. Communication, 7. Authorized Practice)
- Competency Profile (G-1: Communicating)
- Therapeutic Relationships and Professional Boundaries Guide
Remember that it’s inappropriate to influence patients’ decisions by sharing personal opinions.