Immunization Recommendations for Disaster Responders
- Tetanus: In accordance with the current CDC guidelines, responders should receive a tetanus booster if they have not been vaccinated for tetanus during the past 10 years. Td (tetanus/diphtheria) or Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis) can be used; getting the Tdap formula for one tetanus booster during adulthood is recommended to maintain protection against pertussis. While documentation of vaccination is preferred, it should not be a prerequisite to work.
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B vaccine series for persons who will be performing direct patient care or otherwise expected to have contact with bodily fluids.
- Hepatitis A vaccine (low probability of exposure). Vaccine will take at least one to two weeks to provide substantial immunity.
- Typhoid vaccine (low probability of exposure).
- Cholera vaccine (low probability of exposure, no licensed cholera vaccine available in the U.S.).
- Meningococcal vaccine (no expectation of increased risk of meningococcal disease among emergency responders).
- Rabies vaccine series (the full series is required for protection). Persons who are exposed to potentially rabid animals should be evaluated and receive standard post-exposure prophylaxis, as clinically appropriate.
If you are responding to a disaster outside of the continental United States, check Traveler’s Health for current vaccine recommendations.