Vaccination is a key infection prevention tool for healthcare workers as well as patients entering healthcare facilities. Patients may be at greater risk for serious infections and complications from vaccine-preventable diseases due to age, weakened immune systems, or underlying health conditions. It is important to encourage staff members, patients, visitors, and family members to get vaccinated to protect themselves from disease and help prevent the spread of disease within healthcare facilities as well as in the community.
For detailed information on vaccinations in healthcare settings, please visit the Division of Immunization’s healthcare webpage.
Best Practices for Healthcare Settings
Care providers in healthcare facilities may be at risk for exposure to and transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases. Maintenance of immunity is an essential part of prevention.
Suggested strategies include:
- Learn about the different vaccines recommended for care providers in your setting
- Maintain your own individual vaccination record
- Help your facility keep accurate and up-to-date patient and employee vaccination records
- Familiarize yourself with the child/adolescent and adult vaccination schedule recommendations (revised annually) and procedures for administration
- Get involved with influenza vaccination campaigns each year to encourage coworkers to protect themselves and their patients
- Federal regulations (Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard 1910.1030) and state regulations (16VAC25-90-1910) require that employers comply with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. One of the requirements of this standard is that employees who have occupational exposure to blood or other infectious materials be offered the hepatitis B vaccination series by the employer at no cost unless the employee has previously received the complete series, antibody testing has revealed that the employee is immune, or the vaccine is contraindicated (not recommended) for medical reasons. The vaccination series must be provided in accordance with the recommendations of the U.S. Public Health Service current at the time of the vaccination. This includes follow-up testing one to two months after the completion of the three-dose vaccination series to test for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen.
- State regulations (12 VAC5-371-110) require nursing homes to provide or arrange for the administration of a pneumococcal vaccination and an annual influenza vaccination according to the most recent recommendations unless the vaccination is contraindicated or the resident declines the vaccination offer.
- Recommended immunization schedules for children, adolescents, and adults
- Healthcare personnel vaccination recommendations
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) – a group of experts in fields associated with immunization that provides advice and guidance to governmental agencies on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases. This group develops written recommendations for the routine administration of vaccines to children and adults, including age for vaccine administration, number of doses and dosing interval (how long between doses), and precautions and contraindications.
Bolyard EA, Tablan OC, Williams WW, Pearson ML, Shapiro CN, Deitchman SD, and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). Guideline for Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel, 1998.
Immunization Action Coalition – a non-profit organization that works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public.
Vaccination FAQ (for assisted living facilities and nursing homes)
Vaccination FAQ (for other healthcare settings)
For detailed information regarding recommended vaccinations, vaccination coverage data, vaccination procedures, or other information, please visit the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Immunization at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/immunization/ or call the Division at 1-800-568-1929.
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