Healthcare Workers: Protect Yourselves!
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk for exposure to serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. If you work directly with patients or handle material that could spread infection, you should get appropriate vaccines to reduce the chance that you will get or spread vaccine-preventable diseases. Protect yourself, your patients, and your family members. Make sure you are up-to-date with recommended vaccines.
The term "healthcare workers" includes physicians, nurses, emergency medical personnel, dental professionals and students, medical and nursing students, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, hospital volunteers, and administrative staff.
Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers:
If you don't have documented evidence of a complete hepatitis B vaccine series, or if you don't have an up-to-date blood test that shows you are immune to hepatitis B (i.e., no serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination) then you should:
- Get the 3-dose series (dose #1 now, #2 in 1 month, #3 approximately 5 months after #2).
- Get anti-HBs serologic tested 1–2 months after dose #3.
Get 1 dose of influenza vaccine annually.
If you were born in 1957 or later and have not had the MMR vaccine, or if you don't have an up-to-date blood test that shows you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella (i.e., no serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination), get 2 doses of MMR, 4 weeks apart.
For HCWs born before 1957, see the ACIP recommendations.
If you have not had chickenpox (varicella), if you haven't had varicella vaccine, or if you don't have an up-to-date blood test that shows you are immune to varicella (i.e., no serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination) get 2 doses of varicella vaccine, 4 weeks apart.
Get a one-time dose of Tdap as soon as possible if you have not received Tdap previously (regardless of when previous dose of Td was received).
Get Td boosters every 10 years thereafter.
Pregnant HCWs need to get a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy.
If you are routinely exposed to isolates of N. meningitides, get one dose.
Which Vaccines Do You Need?
In addition to these vaccines recommended for healthcare workers, you may need other vaccines based on your age, lifestyle, health condition, and locations of travel. Find out which vaccines are recommended for you by taking the Vaccine Quiz.
- Page last reviewed: June 24, 2013
- Page last updated: June 24, 2013
- Content source:
- National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs