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Vaccinations for Florida Health Care Professionals 20-619941 1 Hour Back to Course Index


Vaccinations for Florida Health Care Professionals

 

Vaccines are one of the great public health achievements. Thanks to vaccines, serious and often fatal diseases like polio, which were once common, are now only distant memories for most Americans.

Vaccines are the safest way to protect you, your children, and your community from a long list of serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Vaccines protect you by preparing your immune system to recognize and fight serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. 

From infants to senior citizens, getting vaccines on time is one of the most important ways to protect yourself and others from serious diseases and infections. Vaccines teach your body’s immune system to recognize infections so it can fight them off in the future.

There are many reasons to get vaccinated; here are just 10:

  1. You may be at risk for serious diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. Many of these diseases (like influenza, pertussis, and shingles) are common in the U.S., and many can be spread easily.
  2. You may be at increased risk for complications from certain diseases if you have a chronic health condition or weakened immune system. Adults with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. These complications can include long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death.
  3. You can reduce the chance that you’ll pass on a serious disease to your loved ones. The most vaccine-preventable disease can be contagious, like influenza, meningitis, and whooping cough. Receiving your recommended vaccines can reduce the risk that you get sick and spread disease to others.
  4. You can help protect those who can’t get vaccinated. Some people may not be able to get certain vaccines based on age, health conditions, or other factors even though they are vulnerable to illness. Vaccines can help prevent the spread of contagious diseases to them. For example, newborns who are too young to get vaccinated for whooping cough are also most at risk of severe illness from the disease. By getting vaccinated when you’re pregnant, you can pass on protection to your baby.
  5. You don’t have time to get sick. You have too much responsibility to risk getting sick, including people counting on you at work and at home. Vaccines can help you stay healthy so you don’t waste time being sick.
  6. You don’t want to miss what’s important to you. Spending time with family and friends or taking time out for your hobbies may not be possible if you get sick. Vaccines can help you stay healthy and enjoy the things you like to do.
  7. You don’t want to pay the price of getting sick. Adults who get a vaccine-preventable disease face the financial costs of medical visits and treatment, in addition to other costs like taking time off work, hiring babysitters, and traveling to and from doctors’ offices.
  8. Travel can present exciting opportunities, but it can also put you at risk for certain diseases. Make sure you only bring back great memories, not illness! If you are going to travel internationally, you might need additional vaccines. 
  9. You want the peace of mind that comes with protecting your health. People sometimes wait to get vaccines until they hear of outbreaks of diseases like pertussis or influenza in their community. The time to be vaccinated is before the disease arrives. It’s important to stay up to date on your immunizations because no one can predict when the disease will appear.
  10. You don’t want to feel crummy if you can prevent it! No one wants to feel sick. There are more than a dozen diseases that you can protect against simply by getting vaccinated.

Vaccinations for Children

Vaccines work best when they are given at certain ages. For example, the measles vaccine is not usually given until a child is at least 1 year old. If it is given earlier than that, it may not work as well. On the other hand, the DTaP vaccine should be given over a period of time in a series of properly spaced doses. 

The following are the Center for Disease Control recommendations for vaccinations in children:

Image result for Child getting a shot  the flu shot

Hepatitis B vaccine:

  1. First dose at birth before discharge
  2. Second dose at 1 to 2 months
  3. Third dose at 6 to 18 months

Hib vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 months (depending upon the type of Hib vaccine given)
  4. Fourth dose at 12 to 15 months

Inactivated polio vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 to 18 months
  4. Fourth dose at 4 to 6 years

DTaP vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 months
  4. Fourth dose at 15 to 18 months
  5. Fifth dose at 4 to 6 years
  6. Tdap is recommended at 11 years

Pneumococcal vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 months
  4. Fourth dose at 12 to 18 months

Rotavirus vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 months (depending upon the type of rotavirus vaccine given)

Hepatitis A vaccine:

  1. First dose at 12 to 23 months
  2. Second dose at 6 to 18 months after the first dose

Influenza vaccine:

  1. First dose at 6 months (requires a booster one month after the initial vaccine)
  2. Annually after that

MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine:

  1. First dose at 12 to 15 months
  2. Second dose at 4 to 6 years

Varicella vaccine:

  1. First dose at 12 to 15 months
  2. Second dose at 4 to 6 years

Meningococcal vaccine:

  1. First dose at 11 years
  2. Second dose at 16 years

Human papillomavirus vaccine:

  1. First dose at 11 years
  2. Second dose two months after the first dose
  3. Third dose six months after the first dose

 

Vaccines Are Not Just For Kids

Adults need protection through vaccination, too! Complications from typical childhood diseases can be more severe in adults. Check with your health care provider to make sure you are up-to-date.

The following vaccinations are recommended for adults over 19 years of age:

  • Tdap
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatits B
  • HPV
  • MMR
  • Meningococcal (MCV4)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Influenza

 

 

Importance of the Influenza Vaccination for Health Care Professionals

Every year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urges health care organizations to ensure that influenza vaccination programs are available for health care personnel (HCP).

Because unvaccinated HCP can be a primary cause of outbreaks in health care settings, annual workplace immunization programs decrease the likelihood of contracting influenza and the chance of infecting others. Therefore, the mission to ensure patient safety in each health care setting should include influenza vaccination of personnel.

Despite the benefits of immunization, CDC estimates that only 40% of the nation’s HCP are vaccinated each year. Studies have shown that low vaccination rates among HCP contribute to influenza outbreaks in hospitals and other health care settings, needlessly putting patients at an increased risk of contracting influenza and suffering from its potential major complications. Annual immunization of caregivers protects employees, their families, and patients, and may reduce influenza-related deaths among persons at high risk for complications from influenza.

HCP refers to all paid and unpaid persons working in health-care settings who have the potential for exposure to patients and/or to infectious materials, including body substances, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, contaminated environmental surfaces, or contaminated air.

HCP might include (but are not limited to) physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health-care facility, and persons (e.g., clerical, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance, billing, and volunteers) not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from HCP and patients.

These recommendations apply to HCP in acute care hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, physician’s offices, urgent care centers, and outpatient clinics, and to persons who provide home health care and emergency medical services.

One hospital evaluated the impact of vaccination on HCP and hospitalized patients and saw an increase in immunization coverage from 4% to 67% over 12 flu seasons. During that timeframe, laboratory-confirmed influenza cases among HCP decreased from 42% to 9%. In addition, nosocomial (hospital-acquired) influenza cases among patients decreased from 32% to 0%.

Studies have shown that some of the primary deterrents to immunization are concerns related to the safety and efficacy of the influenza vaccine. But, each year the vaccine undergoes a review by FDA to assure its safety and potency before it is approved for immunization by the public. The misconception that the vaccine causes influenza, and the mistaken belief that they are not at risk is also another reason why many HCP don’t get vaccinated.

The fact is that healthy adults can pass the influenza virus to someone else one day before symptoms begin, and they can continue to infect others up to five days after getting sick. Therefore, it is possible for a healthy adult to unknowingly spread the virus to patients at high risk for serious complications from influenza.

This risk has been one of the primary factors in motivating many major professional medical societies to endorse and publish recommendations requiring HCP with direct patient care to be immunized. In fact, some states and health agencies have adopted mandatory immunization programs to help decrease the likelihood of contracting influenza and the chance of infecting others.

The initiative to improve influenza vaccination for HCP is supported by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), the Infectious Disease Society of America, the American College of Physicians, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHCO).

FDA urges health care facilities to educate their HCP regarding the benefits of influenza vaccination and potential health consequences of influenza illness for themselves and their patients. Health care systems are encouraged to implement or expand immunization programs for patients and staff. In an effort to improve vaccinations rates among HCP, HHS has developed the Health Care Personnel Initiative to Improve Influenza Vaccination Toolkit. This kit offers health care systems a comprehensive educational packet designed to help implement, or enhance existing, annual influenza vaccination programs.

 

Legal Requirements In Florida

Section 381.0031, Florida Statutes (FS) requires licensed healthcare practitioners to report diseases of public health significance to the Florida Department of Health.

Each laboratory, licensed practitioner, and medical examiner who diagnoses treats, or suspects a case or an occurrence of a disease or condition listed in the Table of Notifiable Diseases or Conditions, Chapter 64D-3.029, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), is required to report the notifiable disease or condition within the designated timeframe. The public health system depends upon reports of disease to monitor the health of the community and to provide the basis for preventive action.

The Immunization Program supplies guidance for the disease investigation of these VPDs: measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, pertussis, polio, diphtheria, and varicella (chickenpox). In addition, hepatitis B surface antigen-positive (HBsAg) test results in a pregnant woman or a child up to 24 months of age must be reported and are tracked by the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) located in the Immunization Program. For Florida VPD data visit the Florida Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set.

Disease Reporting and Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) does not change disease reporting requirements or the obligation to cooperate with epidemiologic investigations. According to HIPAA §160.203, disease reporting, public health disease surveillance, and disease intervention activities are among those that are EXEMPT from federal preemption of state laws. Some protected health information can be disclosed without a patient’s written authorization. Disease reporting circumstances can include:

  • Public health purposes include vital statistics, disease reporting, public health surveillance, investigations, interventions, and regulation of health professionals.

  • District medical examiner investigations.

  • Research approved by the department.

 

Summary

One of the primary reasons the average life span has gone up is due to advances in medicine including the elimination or reduction of infectious diseases, and the main reason for that is vaccination. 

A vaccine-preventable disease that might make you sick for a week or two could prove deadly for a child or parent if t spreads to them as they are more serious for the very young and the very old.  When you get vaccinated to protect yourself, you’re protecting the community and your loved ones as well.

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