Interim Immunization Recommendations for Emergency Responders: Hurricane
- Tetanus and
diphtheria toxoid (receipt of primary series, and Td booster within 10 years)
- Hepatitis B vaccine series for persons who will be performing direct
patient care or otherwise expected to have contact with bodily fluids
There is no indication for the following vaccines given the anticipated
conditions in the region:
- hepatitis A vaccine (low probability of exposure,
even under these conditions, in U.S. ) No transmission from contaminated water
has been identified in the U.S. since the 1980's. Hepatitis A outbreaks have
not occurred following other hurricanes or floods in other parts of the
country, including the devastating hurricanes in Florida last year, and the
Midwestern floods of the late 1990's. The Gulf Region has had few hepatitis A
cases in recent years, with less than 10 in the past 3 months reported from
the New Orleans area. Thus, even though the water and sewage systems are
damaged or out of operation in many areas along the Gulf Coast , the risk of a
hepatitis A epidemic is extremely low. Vaccine will take at least one to two
weeks to provide substantial immunity.
- typhoid vaccine (low
probability of exposure, even under these conditions, in U.S. ).
- cholera vaccine
(low probability of exposure, even under these conditions, in U.S. , plus no
licensed cholera vaccine available in the U.S. ).
- meningococcal vaccine (no expectation of increased
risk of meningococcal disease among emergency responders).
- rabies vaccine series (the full series is required for
protection). Persons who are exposed to potentially rabid animals should be
evaluated and receive standard post-exposure prophylaxis, as clinically
For additional information, please read the Immunizations and Vaccination
article and the Travel
Source: Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov
Last Editorial Review: 9/7/2005