Vaccination FAQs

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Eddie Hooker is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville and at Wright State University. His areas of expertise include emergency medicine, epidemiology, health-services management, and public health.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Is there anything different that health-care workers need to do compared with non-health-care workers?

Health-care workers are treated a little differently than other adults for two reasons. First, a health-care worker is more likely to be exposed to certain risks of infection (such as hepatitis B) than the normal population. Second, if a health-care worker becomes infected, they may transmit those infections to their patients (chickenpox, pertussis).

Special recommendations

  • Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap)
    • It is recommended that any health-care worker who may have patient contact receive a Tdap shot if they have not received one as an adolescent (as long as it has been two years since their last Td shot). This helps prevent the spread of pertussis.
  • Hepatitis B
    • Health-care workers who have not been vaccinated should receive the three-dose series and obtain anti-hepatitis B serology testing one to two months after their third dose.
  • Measles/mumps/rubella (MMR)
    • There must be either documented evidence of all three diseases (measles, mumps, and rubella) or serologic evidence of immunity (determined by a blood test) in anyone born after 1957. If there is no serologic evidence of immunity, the health-care worker should receive two doses of MMR separated by 28 days or more.
  • Varicella
    • All health care workers must have a history of varicella disease (chickenpox), prior vaccination, or serologic evidence of immunity. If not, the worker should receive two doses of vaccine 28 days apart.
  • Influenza
    • Health-care workers should receive one dose of either the flu shot or the nasal flu vaccine annually.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/25/2015

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