Your Health and you

Flu and H1N1 influenza vaccine recommendations for doctors and health care workers

Posted on October 6, 2009 by coptermedic

From KevinMD:

The recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which is an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are quite clear:

* Re seasonal influenza: All health care personnel and persons in training for health-care professions should be vaccinated annually against influenza. Persons working in health care settings who should be vaccinated include physicians, nurses, and other workers in both hospital and outpatient care settings, medical emergency response workers (e.g., paramedics and emergency medical technicians), employees of nursing home and long-term care facilities who have contact with patients or residents, and students in these professions who will have contact with patients.

* Re H1N1: Similarly, health care personnel are considered a high priority group for receiving the H1N1 vaccine. When vaccine is first available, ACIP recommends that programs and providers administer vaccine to health care and emergency medical services personnel.

Here are the CDC’s detailed recommendations regarding seasonal influenza vaccination and vaccination against H1N1.

The ACIP also recommends both that facilities employing health care personnel should provide vaccine to workers, and that the level of vaccination among health care personnel should be considered as a measure of a patient safety program.

What are the recommendations for health care personnel with flu-like symptoms staying at home?

Although the general CDC recommendation states that “people with influenza-like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F [37.8°C]) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications,” there is a different recommendation for health care personnel. Specifically, the CDC states that, for health care personnel, the “exclusion period should be continued for 7 days from symptom onset or until the resolution of symptoms, whichever is longer.”

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