Vaccination of healthcare personnel: Spotlight on groups with underlying conditions

Volume 32, Issue 32, Pages 4013-4110 (7 July 2014)

Vaccination of healthcare personnel: Spotlight on groups with underlying conditions
Original Research Article
Pages 4025-4031
Sabine Wicker, Holly Seale, Laura von Gierke, Helena C. Maltezou
Healthcare personnel (HCP) are at increased risk of acquiring vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). Vaccination protects HCP and their patients from nosocomial transmission of VPDs. HCP who have underlying diseases (e.g., immunocompromised, HIV-infected, or those with chronic diseases) and HCP in particular phases of life (e.g., pregnant, elderly) require special consideration in regards the provision of vaccines. On the one hand, live virus vaccines may be contraindicated (e.g., pregnant HCP, immunocompromised HCP), while on the other hand, vaccines not routinely recommended (e.g., pneumococcal) may be indicated (e.g., elderly or immunocompromised HCP). It is not known how many HCP with underlying conditions require special consideration in the healthcare setting. This is an important issue, because the risk for serious morbidity, complications and mortality for HCP with underlying conditions will only increase. The prevention of nosocomial infections requires comprehensive occupational safety programs. The healthcare system must engage HCP and occupational physicians to ensure sufficient vaccination rates as part of an effective nosocomial infection prevention and HCP safety strategy.