COVID-19 VACCINATION FOR DENTAL PRACTITIONERS IN MALAYSIA
The current COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia is still very fluid and even after one year of constant battle, we have not win the war. The community spread of this virus is now a major concern to all walks of life. As part of the essential services in Malaysia, dental service is still ongoing providing care to our Rakyat even when our nation is at various phase of Movement Control Order. As clinicians ourselves and also as frontliners, we need to play our part to maintain Universal Infection Control Precaution in our daily practice as the nature of our work, working in close proximity to the oral cavity, also renders us at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 infection. Till now, it may still be deemed unpractical, and it is not made mandatory, to have every dental patients to undergo oral – nasal swab test to screen for COVID-19 before entering our clinics. The news of COVID-19 vaccine coming into Malaysia has stirred many discussions among the professionals and also the general public. Just like any other healthcare providers, dental practitioners, both public and private sectors, need to be given priority in this exercise, hopefully to be materialised during the first phase of the implementation.
On this note, MDA has already been informed earlier that the Oral Health Program Ministry of Health Malaysia, will be collecting names of private practitioners from Malaysian Dental Council. Following on, further information on the number of supporting staffs in the respective clinics will also be collected, a task that Oral Health Program may seek assistance from MDA later. For now, MDA is finalising questionnaires for a nationwide survey to be released soon. MDA hopes this preliminary information from the private sector will be able to compliment and assist Oral Health Program in the upcoming exercise to make COVID-19 vaccine available to all dental practitioners. MDA strongly feels that a coordinated approach with the Oral Health Program, Ministry of Health Malaysia, and the relevant authorities, will be the way forward in the implementation of this pertinent matter. Henceforth, the Association humbly requests all private dental practitioners to take part in this survey and also to disseminate the survey to your colleagues so that none is left behind. In the meantime, I wish all of you the very best and to always stay safe in this challenging time. God bless all of you. Thank you.
Kei Joe LEONG