The American College of Physicians has approved a policy recommendation stating that all healthcare providers should be immunized against influenza; diphtheria; hepatitis B; measles, mumps and rubella; pertussis; and varicella in accordance with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices adult immunization schedule.
The ACP policy exempts healthcare providers for medical reasons or a religious objection to immunization.
“These transmissible infectious diseases represent a threat to healthcare providers and the patients we serve, who are often highly vulnerable to infection,” David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president of the ACP, said in a news release. “Proper immunization safely and effectively prevents a significant number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths among patients as well as preventing workplace disruption and medical errors.”
Noting the severe start to the flu season, the ACP urges all adults to get a flu shot if they have not already, and to speak with their internist about other immunizations they might need. Only 39% of adults received the flu vaccine during the 2011-12 season, according to the news release. People who cannot get a flu shot or other immunizations for medical reasons should speak with their internist about other ways of protecting themselves.