VACCINATIONS

Read about occupational immunisations and who it’s recommended for.

VACCINATIONS

Occupational immunisations are an important safety concern where staff are likely to be exposed to particular diseases.

There are a number of professions with associated risks of having exposure to  bloodborne pathogens:

Healthcare workers

Nurses, physicians, healthcare assistants.

Housekeepers

In healthcare facilities.

Personnel

In hospital or commercial laundries that service healthcare or public safety institutions.

Hospice employees

Employees of hospices.

Dentists

Including hygienists, assistants and laboratory technicians.

Funeral homes

Employees of funeral homes and mortuaries.

Medical

Employees in first aid or medical clinic.

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Tattooists

Ideal for body piercers and tattooists.

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Sewage workers

Sewage process workers.

Plumbers

Ideal for plumbers .

Laboratory technicians

For people who work as lab technicians.

Education

Education workers in schools, colleges and universities.

Council workers

Ideal for at risk council workers

BCG TUBERCULOSIS

The BCG injection (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine) protects against tuberculosis, it is also commonly known as TB.

TB is an acute infection which affects the lungs, but it can affect other parts of the body such as the bones, joints and kidneys. TB can also cause meningitis.

CHICKENPOX (VARICELLA)

The chickenpox vaccine protects against the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox. The vaccine is given as two separate injections, usually into the upper arm, four to eight weeks apart.

It is recommended for certain individuals, such as healthcare workers, nurses and people who come into close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system.

HEPATITIS A

Hepatitis A can affect anyone. The virus is passed out in the stools (faeces) of infected people. In areas of poor sanitation, or where disposal of sewage is poor, hepatitis A can become common due to dirty (contaminated) water and food.

Someone’s occupation may make them more likely to become infected – for example, sewage workers, laboratory workers and overseas travellers may have an increased risk.

HEPATITIS B

Hepatitis B infection is transmitted through sexual contact, contact with contaminated blood and from mother to child. Hepatitis B is not spread through food, water, or casual contact.

For full protection, you will need three injections of hepatitis B vaccine over four to six months. Five-year boosters are recommended for anyone thought to be at continuing risk of infection. Employees at risk of hepatitis B and who should therefore consider vaccination are:

Healthcare workers

Nurses, physicians, healthcare assistants.

Hospice employees

Employees of hospices.

Dentists

Including hygienists, assistants and laboratory technicians.

Funeral homes

Employees of funeral homes and mortuaries.

Medical

Employees in first aid or medical clinic.

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Tattooists

Ideal for body piercers and tattooists.

Prison staff

Ideal for all prison personnel but especially front-line staff.

INFLUENZA

Influenza is a potentially serious virus that can lead to hospitalisation and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. High numbers of flu are diagnosed each year which leads to increased sickness absence levels. The influenza vaccination is the best form of protection against flu.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu which is ideally administered between September and December.

MMR

MMR is a safe and effective combined vaccine that protects against 3 separate illnesses – measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) – in a single injection. The full course of MMR vaccination requires 2 doses.

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