Do You Know Which Vaccines are Specifically Recommended for Healthcare Personnel in Your Workplace?

January 2015

Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
Technically Speaking is a monthly column written by IAC’s Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD. The column is featured in The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC’s) monthly e-newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as needle length, vaccine administration, cold chain, and immunization schedules.
Check out a recent issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers. The VEC e-newsletter keeps providers up to date on vaccine-related issues and includes reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, announcements about new resources, and a regularly updated calendar of events.
Do You Know Which Vaccines are Specifically Recommended for Healthcare Personnel in Your Workplace?
Published January 2015
Information presented in this article may have changed since the original publication date. For the most current immunization recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, visit
Confusion and misinformation are common regarding vaccinations for healthcare personnel (HCP). From the basics of which vaccines are recommended to the complicated details of what to accept for proof of immunity for hepatitis B or measles, it can be challenging to stay up to date on the current vaccine recommendations.
Fortunately, excellent resources are available to help medical practices vaccinate their employees as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For example, the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has just updated its useful one-page summary, Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations(PDF). The first section of this handout, “Recommendations in Brief,” is reprinted below. The complete piece includes additional details about the use of each of these recommended vaccines.
Hepatitis B: If previously unvaccinated, give three-dose series (dose #1 now; #2 in one month; #3 approximately five months after #2). Give intramuscularly (IM). For HCP who perform tasks that may involve exposure to blood or body fluids, obtain anti-HBs serologic testing one to two months after dose #3.
Influenza: Give one dose of influenza vaccine annually. Inactivated injectable vaccine is given IM, except when using the intradermal influenza vaccine. Live attenuated influenza vaccine (nasal spray) is given intranasally.
MMR: For HCP born in 1957 or later without serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination, give two doses of MMR, four weeks apart. For HCP born prior to 1957, see additional information provided in this handout. Give subcutaneously (SC).
Varicella: For HCP who have no serologic proof of immunity, prior vaccination, or diagnosis or verification of a history of varicella or herpes zoster (shingles) by a healthcare provider, give two doses of varicella vaccine, four weeks apart. Give SC.
Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis: Give one dose of Tdap as soon as feasible to all HCP who have not received Tdap previously and to pregnant HCP with each pregnancy. Give Td boosters every 10 years thereafter. Give IM.
Meningococcal: Give one dose to microbiologists who are routinely exposed to isolates of N. meningitidis and boost every five years if risk continues. Give MCV4 IM; if necessary to use MPSV4, give SC.
Be sure to refer to Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations when an employee is new to your workplace or when updating your practice’s policies and procedures manual.
Additional essential resources for those providing HCP vaccination are listed below:
Immunizations for Healthcare Personnel: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
IAC’s web page: Immunization Topics: Healthcare Personnel
IAC’s handouts related to the vaccination of HCP
Links to official recommendations of CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for all vaccines are available on IAC’s website
Following ACIP recommendations for vaccination of HCP protects not only your employees against vaccine-preventable diseases, but also your patients. You, your staff and your patients will appreciate having the best protection available!


This page was updated on .