Immunization of Health-Care Providers: Necessity and Public Health Policies.
Healthcare (Basel). 2016 Aug 1;4(3).
Maltezou HC1, Poland GA2.
1Department for Interventions in Health-Care Facilities, Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 3-5 Agrafon Street, Athens 15123, Greece. firstname.lastname@example.org
2Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, 611C Guggenheim Building, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 200 First Street, SW Rochester, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. email@example.com
Health-care providers (HCPs) are at increased risk for exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) in the workplace. The rationale for immunization of HCPs relies on the need to protect them and, indirectly, their patients from health-care-associated VPDs. Published evidence indicates significant immunity gaps for VPDs of HCPs globally. Deficits in knowledge and false perceptions about VPDs and vaccines are the most common barriers for vaccine uptake and may also influence communication about vaccines between HCPs and their patients. Most countries have immunization recommendations for HCPs; however, there are no universal policies and significant heterogeneity exists between countries in terms of vaccines, schedules, frame of implementation (recommendation or mandatory), and target categories of HCPs. Mandatory influenza immunization policies for HCPs have been implemented with high vaccine uptake rates. Stronger recommendations for HCP immunization and commitment at the level of the health-care facility are critical in order to achieve high vaccine coverage rates. Given the importance to health, mandatory immunization policies for VPDs that can cause serious morbidity and mortality to vulnerable patients should be considered
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