Dental leaders have warned that the lack of data on vaccine uptake in the sector leaves them in the dark about the impact of the jab mandate on the workforce.
The loss of even just a small proportion of staff who refuse to be jabbed against Covid-19 could be calamitous for the sector, already overstretched and struggling to recover from the pandemic, leading figures suggested.
Even before dental services were restricted amid the coronavirus outbreak, staff could only deliver NHS care to half of the population, according to the British Dental Association (BDA).
It warned compulsory vaccines would exacerbate patients’ difficulties in getting access to vital treatment, pushing them to burden their GP or even A&E.
From April, unvaccinated health and social care workers who deal with the public in Care Quality Commission-regulated roles in England will be banned from working unless they are medically exempt, the Government has announced. It is thought the ban will apply to dentists and their teams in both NHS and private services.