Vaccines Recommended for Healthcare Personnel

Healthcare personnel (HCP) may be at risk for exposure to serious diseases. If you work directly with patients or handle material that could spread infection, you should receive the appropriate vaccines to reduce the chance that you will get or spread diseases. Make sure you are up-to-date with the following recommended vaccines so you will not only protect yourself, but also your patients and your family.

Hepatitis B.

-HCP who perform tasks that involve exposure to blood or bodily fluids should receive a three-dose series of hepatitis B Vaccine.
(Dose # 1 now, # 2 in one month, #3 is five months after #2).
– After two months from the third dose your doctor should run a blood test to detect whether you are immune or not (i.e. unresponsive to the vaccine).
– If the HCP is unresponsive, then revaccination with another three dose series and retest again in two months, if still unresponsive then the HCP should be considered susceptible for HBV infection and should be counseled regarding precautions to prevent infection and the need to obtain HBIG prophylaxis for a known exposure to hepatitis B positive blood.

Influenza.

– All HCP should receive annual vaccinations against influenza.
– Two types of influenza vaccines are available. The first one is live attenuated vaccine (LAIV) that is administered intranasally and is licensed for use in healthy non-pregnant persons aged 2-49 years. The second one is trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV) and is administered as an intramuscular injection and can be given to any person aged ≥6 months.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR).

– HCP born in 1957 or later can be considered immune to measles, mumps, or rubella only if they have the documentation of laboratory confirmation of disease/immunity or appropriate vaccination history of measles, mumps, and rubella.
– HCP born before 1957 are generally considered acceptable evidence of measles, mumps, and rubella immunity. However, healthcare facilities should consider recommending 2 doses of MMR vaccine to unvaccinated HCP born before 1957 who do not have a laboratory evidence of disease or immunity.

Varicella (Chicken pox)

– It is recommended that all HCP be immune for varicella.
– Evidence of immunity includes documentation of 2 doses of varicella vaccine or history of varicella or herpes zoster based on physician diagnosis or laboratory confirmation of the disease.

Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis. (Td/Tdap)

– All HCP who have not or are unsure if they have previously received a dose of Tdap should receive a dose of Tdap as soon as possible.
– All HCP should receive a Tdap booster every 10 years thereafter.

Meningococcal.

– Not all HCP are recommended to receive meningococcal vaccine (MCV4).
– It is recommended for microbiologists who are exposed to isolate N. meningitides, as well as HCP who are immunocompromised or are traveling to countries in which meningococcal disease is epidemic.

References:
1. CDC. Immunization of Health-Care Personnel.
2. Updated U.S. Public health service guidelines for occupational exposure to HBV, HCV and HIV.