An update from Eric Rooney, Deputy Chief Dental Officer England

In the latest NHS bulletin, Eric Rooney, shares an update with the dentistry regarding current situation regarding the coronavirus and vaccines. You can read his message below.

Dear colleagues,

I hope you all had a restful Christmas break.

In last week's bulletin, we announced that lateral flow antigen testing is being rolled out to all front-line patient facing NHS dental staff. This is an important step in empowering practices to stay open and see as many patients as possible. As stated last week, the deadline for orders to arrive in early January is today. Further detail, including what to do if you miss this deadline, is below.

As you will have seen on the news, the Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for use. Having studied evidence on both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccines, the JCVI has advised the priority should be to give as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing the required two doses in as short a time as possible. Everyone will still receive their second dose and this will be within 12 weeks of their first. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection. The full advice of the JCVI is online. A statement from the four UK Chief Medical Officers on the prioritisation of first doses of COVID-19 vaccines can be found here. We will keep you updated of what these developments mean for patients and for dental professionals.

The Health Secretary has also announced that a number of areas will change tier. NHS dental services in England should remain open to treat patients in line with the standard operating procedure and the national infection prevention control guidelines for dentistry, which remain unchanged.

On EU Exit, we have included the key information you need to know as the UK exists the transition period this week.

Thank you again for your continued professionalism and very best wishes for the new year,


The full buletin release can be found here.