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Vaccination in healthcare workers: an Italian perspective.

Research paper by Rosa R Prato, Silvio S Tafuri, Francesca F Fortunato, Domenico D Martinelli

Indexed on: 12 Mar '10Published on: 12 Mar '10Published in: Expert review of vaccines



Abstract

The Italian National Vaccination Plan 2005-2007 strongly recommends that healthcare workers (HCWs) be offered hepatitis B and influenza vaccines and that susceptible workers should also be offered measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccines. Nationwide figures for vaccination coverage among HCWs are not currently available. Vaccination coverage is high but not yet satisfactory for hepatitis B and is absolutely insufficient for influenza. Susceptibility rates to childhood exanthematic diseases are low: when attempting to achieve complete immunity, screening the individuals at recruitment is cost effective. The procedures for TB prevention are a consolidated practice for occupational health physicians. Hospital health directors should be empowered on the importance of vaccinating HCWs as a milestone of hospital risk management. More adequate training, including specific courses on vaccinations, is required for occupational health physicians.