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COVID-19 Update

Updated: June 14, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 global pandemic effects all of us both personally and professionally, including the dental team and the Dental Hygiene profession.

In these extraoradinary circumstances and because the situation differs from country to country, IFDH advises you to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization, your national governements, your national Dental and Dental Hygiene organizations and the advice of experts.

Patient safety and staff health and welfare must be our number one concern.

Information that we have received to date (US, Canada, Ireland, Australia, United Kingdom) has been posted below and we will continue to add updates as we receive more information from our 34 country members.

Wishing everyone continued good health,

Corrie Jongbloed
IFDH President

International situation regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline Dental Hygienists

Countries such as the USA and the UK are now prioritizing their Dental Hygienists for the COVID-19 vaccine.

In August 2020 the World Health Organization confirmed Dental Hygienists are one of the highest at risk due to the airborne transmission of the virus in the presence of AGPs which is necessary to carry out treatment.

The IFDH encourages each member country to engage with your government health officials to ensure priority as part of the "frontline health and social care workers" groups.

SEE RESULTS OF IFDH ADVOCACY CAMPAIGNS AROUND THE WORLD AND STATUS OF DENTAL HYGIENIST VACCINATIONS.

CURRENT COVID-19 STATS

World Health Organization

  • Added January 7, 2021:
    • Immunity after COVID-19
      • How long does your immunity last after you recover from COVID-19? Can you get reinfected? Why do you need to continue with preventative measures? Dr Maria Van Kerkhove explains on Science in 5.
    • Don't be a super spreader!
      • In a partnership with YouTube, American comedian Jon Glaser reinforces WHO's messages to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season.
    • Journey of a vaccine
      • How are vaccines made and what tests are done to make sure they are safe. Find out more in our "Vaccines explained" series.
    • Online game promotes the use of masks among young people
      • Magic Unicorn Inc.' online game Chudo now contains integrated content on proper wearing of masks, based on WHO guidance.
  • Added January 11, 2021:
    • COVID-19 vaccine facts
      • YouTube influencer Healthcare Triage talked with WHO's Dr Kate O'Brien about how the COVID-19 vaccine works, how it gets distributed, and how we distribute it equitably.
    • Prolonged symptoms after COVID-19
      • Are you experiencing symptoms after recovery from COVID-19? WHO's Dr Janet Diaz explains what we know so far about prolonged symptoms.
  • Added January 18, 2021:
  • Added January 29, 2021:
    • I am vaccinated, what next?
      • When does immunity kick in? How long does it last? Can I still catch COVID-19 and infect others after vaccination? Why do I still need to take precautions? WHO’s Dr Kate O’Brien explains in Science in 5.
    • Care after COVID-19
      • WHO recommends follow-up care for people who have recovered from COVID-19 and continue to have symptoms like extreme fatigue and persistent cough.
  • Added February 22, 2021:
  • Added March 3, 2021:
    • Vaccines, variants and herd immunity
      • As new variants emerge, people are wondering if they should wait for a more efficacious vaccine or go ahead and get vaccinated now. WHO’s Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan explains in Science in 5.
  • Added March 8, 2021:
  • Added March 30, 2021:
    • Vaccines, variants & doses
      • If you have had COVID-19 do you still need both doses of the vaccine? Do these vaccines protect you against infection? Do they protect us against variants? WHO’s Dr Katherine O’Brien answers these questions in Science in 5.
  • Added April, 19, 2021:
    • Side effects of COVID-19 vaccines
      • COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and will help protect you against severe disease and death. You may experience some mild side effects after getting vaccinated, which are signs that your body is building protection.
  • Added June, 14, 2021:
    • Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants
      • Everything you need to know about the new naming convention of SARS-CoV-2 variants, what are the variants of concern and variants of interest.
    • World Food Safety Day 2021
      • This year's theme for World Food Safety Day is “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow”. Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers. Everyone has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and healthy.

    • Added April 14, 2020:
      • Latest Updates (Daily Press Briefing, Questions, Travel, Reports, Media, R&D)
      • Children's Story book to Help Children Cope with COVID-19
        • With the help of a fantasy creature, Ario, "My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!" explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from COVID-19 and how to manage difficult emotions in a new and rapidly changing reality.
      • Two COVID-19 Tests listed for Emergency Use
        • WHO has listed the first two diagnostic tests for emergency use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The move should help increase access to quality-assured, accurate tests for the disease.
      • 5G mobile Networks DO NOT Spread COVID-19
        • Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
    • Added April 21, 2020:
      • Violence against women during COVID-19
        • Has violence against women increased since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19? What can you do if home is not a safe place for you? Find answers to these and other questions here.
      • Maintaining routine immunization services during COVID-19
        • National routine immunization programmes are more critical than ever before. Governments must use every opportunity possible to protect people from the many diseases for which vaccines are available.
      • Tips for safe and healthy eating
        • There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through contact with food or food packaging. Here are some tips on keeping your food safe and eating healthily during the pandemic.
      • Parenting in the time of COVID-19
        • To help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of confinement, these six tips cover planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating routines, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19.
    • Added April 27, 2020:
      • Does sunlight prevent or cure COVID-19?
        • No! Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25 degrees Celsius does not prevent COVID-19. See our mythbusters page for other frequently asked questions and answers.
      • Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and COVID-19
        • There is no evidence that the BCG vaccine protects people against infection with COVID-19 virus. In the absence of evidence, WHO does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19.
    • Added May 4, 2020:
    • Added May 12, 2020:
      • Re-imagining and fixing the links in the supply chains during COVID-19?
        • Getting humanitarian supplies where they need to go is a game of precision and meticulous planning under normal circumstances. Try adding a global, rapidly evolving pandemic to the mix, and you've described the current reality of WHO Operations Support & Logistics Chief Paul Molinaro.
      • What can older people do to prepare for COVID-19?
        • Older people, and people of all ages with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or cancer) appear to develop serious illness more often than others. Here's how you can protect yourself.
      • 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19
        • Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. Visit our mythbusters page that dispels some common myths and misinformation circulating online and in the media.
    • Added May 19, 2020:
      • WHO info direct from your mobile
        • WHO launches WHO Info app for real-time access to news and information, as well as an app to support health workers during the pandemic.aro.
      • Sign up for our new digital update on COVID-19
        • How can I find the latest COVID-19 content on web and social media, key messages, press conferences, multilingual resources, guidance and must-know information from WHO? Sign up for a weekly digital update.
    • Added May 27, 2020:
    • Added June 22, 2020:
    • Added July 10, 2020:
    • Added July 29, 2020:
    • Added August 14, 2020:
    • Added August 20, 2020:
    • Added August 21, 2020:
      • Advice on the use of masks for children
        • Children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks. Decision to use masks for children aged 6-11 should be based on the multiple factors. Children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults.
    • Added August 24, 2020:
      • COVID-19 vaccine Global Access Facility
        • 172 countries are now engaged in discussions to potentially participate in COVAX, a global initiative aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines.
    • Added September 2, 2020:
      • Science in 5
        • Science in 5 is WHO's series in which WHO experts explain the science about specific issues related to COVID-19. Watch these short videos on WHO's YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts or listen to the podcasts
      • Corticosteroid recommendations
        • WHO recommends systemic corticosteroids for the treatment of patients with severe and critical COVID-19. We suggest not to use corticosteroids in the treatment of patients with non-severe COVID-19. Treatment should be under supervision of a clinician.
    • Added September 28, 2020:
    • Added September 29, 2020:
      • Vaccines, treatments and tests for COVID-19
        • There is no time to waste in the fight against COVID-19. No-one is safe until everyone is safe! Learn more about the groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to tests, treatments and vaccines.
      • COVID-19 outbreak is accelerating: here's the global situation
        • COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to increase globally. It's important to stay vigilant and practice all the necessary prevention measures. Take a look at the current outbreak situation as well as what countries are most and least affected.
    • Added October 20, 2020:
      • How to cope with stress during the pandemic
        • WHO's Health Alert on WhatsApp has launched a new feature to help you cope with stress during COVID-19 pandemic. Follow the short programme and learn some ways to manage stress. Access on WhatsApp
      • Play "Go Viral!" game
        • The UK Government has partnered with the University of Cambridge to create a game that uses inoculation theory to build the public's resilience to false information, mitigating the risk of false information undermining adherence to, or uptake of, COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.
      • Science in 5: Flu & COVID-19
        • Flu season is starting in many parts of the world. How can you protect yourself from flu and COVID-19? How would you know if you have flu or COVID-19? What precautions should pregnant women take? Find the answers in this episode of Science in 5.
      • Can vitamin and mineral supplements cure COVID-19?
        • Micronutrients, such as vitamins D and C, are critical for a well-functioning immune system. However, there is currently no guidance on the use of micronutrient supplements as a treatment of COVID-19.
      • Test your knowledge on how COVID-19 is transmitted
        • Take this quiz to test your knowledge on how COVID-19 is transmitted and what are the things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
    • Added November 2, 2020:
      • Q&A: COVID-19 vaccines
        • When will vaccines against COVID-19 be ready for distribution? How quickly could vaccines stop the pandemic? What types of COVID-19 vaccines are being developed and how will they work? How will we know if COVID-19 vaccines are safe? Find the answers here.
      • Q&A: COVID-19 vaccine research and development
        • Here you can find answers to the most commonly asked questions on vaccine research and development.
      • How do vaccines work?
        • Find out about how vaccines train your immune system to fight diseases.
      • Q&A: Herd immunity, lockdowns and COVID-19
        • Attempts to reach ‘herd immunity' by exposing people to a virus are scientifically problematic and unethical. Letting COVID-19 spread through populations, of any age or health status will lead to unnecessary infections, suffering and death.
    • Added November 16, 2020:
      • Tracking the origins of the new coronavirus
        • Ever since the first cluster of cases of atypical pneumonia was detected in Wuhan, China, WHO has been has been looking for evidence of how the virus that has turned the world upside down originally made the jump from animals to humans.
      • Safe celebrations during COVID-19
        • How can we celebrate the holidays safely? Who are the high risk members in our families and communities and how can we keep them safe? What about travel during the holidays? WHO's Chief Scientist explains in Science in 5.
      • Updated Q&A on COVID-19
        • WHO is continuously monitoring and responding to this pandemic. This Q&A is updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide. For more information, regularly check the WHO coronavirus pages.
    • Added November 23, 2020:
      • COVID-19: Serology, antibodies and immunity
        • Does the presence of antibodies mean that a person is immune? Can people who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection be re-infected? What is herd immunity? Find out here!
      • SARS-CoV-2 evolution
        • SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, changes more slowly than other viruses such as HIV or influenza viruses. This is in part due to the fact that SARS-CoV-2 has an internal "proofreading mechanism" which corrects mistakes when it makes copies of itself.
      • COVID-19 vaccine trials
        • Learn what scientists look for in the different phases of a clinical trial for a vaccine. What does it mean when a vaccine trial is halted due to an adverse event? WHO's Dr Kate O'Brien explains in Science in 5 this week.
      • Augmented reality course on personal protective equipment
        • The WHO Academy has launched its first augmented reality course for health workers on the proper use of personal protective equipment. The free short course is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
    • Added December 14, 2020:
      • Manufacturing, safety and quality control of vaccines
        • This is part three in a series of explainers on vaccine development and distribution. It outlines the next part of the vaccine journey: the steps from completing the clinical trial phases through to distribution.
      • How do vaccines work?
        • How do vaccines work to protect us? What are the vaccine technologies in the pipeline and how do we ensure safe vaccines? Dr Katherine O' Brien explains in Science in 5.
      • Updated masks guidance
        • If a visitor who is not a member of the household comes to your home, wear a mask if you can't maintain a physical distance or the ventilation is poor. Also wear a mask when you cannot ensure the physical distance from others when outside. Full guidance here.
      • COVID-19 vaccine distribution
        • Now the world is getting closer to a vaccine for COVID-19, how will these vaccines reach you? WHO's Dr Katherine O'Brien explains COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Science in 5.

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