What occupational health vaccinations do I need?15 Mar 2019
While the standard course of occupational health vaccinations provides sufficient protection for most people, additional vaccinations are recommended for people in certain job roles. Vaccination prevents you from getting a disease, which provides protection for you and the people you come in contact with. As an example, healthcare workers are recommended to get the flu vaccination each year, not only to prevent staff illness but to prevent spreading a potentially fatal disease to vulnerable patients. Below you’ll find information about some of the most commonly required vaccinations. Please contact us directly for more detailed information about a particular vaccination or for assistance in assessing your circumstances.
The flu vaccine
Anyone working with vulnerable individuals should get the flu vaccination every year. Flu can be fatal. Those most at risk from influenza including the elderly, children, pregnant women, those with breathing difficulties or existing lung conditions, those already ill or immune-compromised.
Influenza viruses mutate rapidly and different strains tend to be more or less prominent from year to year so it is essential to get the vaccination each year. Vaccination also helps prevent the disease from spreading, reducing the risk of another pandemic like that of 1918-1919 where between 50-100 million people died.
The BCG vaccination
Tuberculosis (TB) is rare in the UK, thanks to vaccination programs, however, it causes around 2 million deaths around the world every year. As a result, the NHS has switched to a targeted vaccination program so children and adults living in low-risk areas typically no longer have the BCG vaccination against TB. If your work brings you in contact with people from high-risk countries, whether as refugees, prisoners, homeless people or patients in healthcare or eldercare setting, then the BCG is recommended. TB can also be carried by animals, so it is recommended for some workers in laboratory and animal care settings.
Hepatitis A & B vaccination
Both hepatitis A and B are serious but preventable diseases. Hep A is typically communicated through faeces, so the vaccination is one of those recommended for individuals who are likely to come in contact with sewage, as well as those travelling to areas outside the UK where the disease is common. Hep B is typically communicated by direct blood to blood contact, so is recommended for those working with at-risk communities, primarily individuals from countries outside the UK where hepatitis B is common.
At NHS Occupational Health Portsmouth, we offer a wide range of vaccinations and boosters to protect people at work. We offer vaccinations for those who have to travel through work (including hepatitis A & B, typhoid, polio, tetanus and diphtheria) as well as for those working in at-risk situations or with at-risk individuals in the UK. We can also provide tests to check whether standard vaccinations have been effective and boosters where they have been missed or are simply too old to continue to be effective. Contact us today for help understanding which vaccinations you need to be safe in your work environment.