MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alissa C. O’Halloran, MSPH
Immunization Services Division
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta GA 30329
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) can occur in healthcare settings. Vaccinating healthcare personnel (HCP) may be helpful in protecting HCP from pertussis and potentially limiting spread to others in healthcare settings.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends a single dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine for all adults, including pregnant women during each pregnancy, to protect themselves and reduce the risk for transmitting pertussis to infants too young to be vaccinated. To assure high Tdap coverage and disease prevention among HCP, patients, and others, ACIP recommends that healthcare employers provide Tdap vaccination to HCP and use approaches that maximize vaccination rates.
In this study, we assessed Tdap vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel by occupation, industry, demographics, access-to-care characteristics, and by the 21 states in the study.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Among all healthcare personnel , less than half (47 percent) were vaccinated for Tdap. Vaccination rates differed by occupation and industry. Physicians had higher Tdap coverage (67 percent) compared with all other HCP except nurse practitioners and registered nurses (60 percent). Tdap vaccination coverage was also higher among workers in hospitals (53 percent) than in long-term care facilities (33 percent) and other clinical settings, such as dentist, chiropractor, and optometrist offices (39 percent).
HCP who were younger, who had higher education, higher annual household income, a personal healthcare provider, and health insurance had higher Tdap vaccination coverage compared with reference groups.
Tdap vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel also varied by state and ranged from 31 percent in Mississippi to 66 percent in Washington.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Less than half of all healthcare personnel eported receiving a Tdap vaccine, which leaves them vulnerable to getting pertussis and possibly spreading it to their patients. More healthcare workers need to receive the Tdap vaccine to help protect themselves and their patients. Employers can implement interventions known to increase vaccination among HCP, which include on-site workplace vaccination, offering vaccines free of charge, and promoting vaccination.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: For groups with lower vaccination coverage, we need a better understanding of the barriers they face to getting the Tdap vaccine.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: It is especially important for HCP who have contact with infants to be up to date with Tdap, because of the increased risk of severe disease in very young infants. We also encourage HCP to ensure their pregnant patients get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy to pass protective antibodies to their babies before they are old enough to be vaccinated themselves.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Tdap Vaccination Among Healthcare Personnel—21 States, 2013
O’Halloran, Alissa C. et al.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,
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