Immunisation

Immunisation and Screening is highly important. Depending on your occupation and where you work within the trust you may need extra immunisations on top of the national recognised immunisation schedule.

The list bellow displays some of the immunisations we provide to protect staff. Please see the Immunisation and Screening Matrix for details of mandatory and recommended immunisation screening for individuals working within a health care setting. For our policy on staff immunisation and infection screening click here.


Hepatitis B Immunisation

Who will be immunised?

All staff that may be potentially exposed to human blood and body fluids should be immunised against Hepatitis B. This includes all of the following:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Healthcare and Maternity Care Assistants
  • Midwives
  • Physiotherapists
  • Physician’s Assistants
  • Lab workers exposed to human tissues and samples
  • Radiographers
  • Radiotherapists
  • Audiologists
  • Dieticians
  • Technicians working with potentially contaminated medical equipment
  • Domestic Assistants (cleaners)
  • Facility and Estate workers dealing with clinical waste
  • Any other healthcare or clinical staff deemed at risk of exposure

What does this involve?

Eligible staff will receive either a normal primary course of 3 injections, followed by a blood test to check their response to the immunisation and a booster after 5 years; or a rapid course (EPP workers) of three vaccines, followed by a blood test and a booster after 12 months (in accordance with DOH guidelines 2006).  oh Occupational Health and Wellbeing Department operates a recall system so you will be called automatically for your booster. If your response to your initial course was satisfactory the guidelines state that only one booster after 5 years is required.

Note: It is imperative that a blood test is performed 6-8 weeks after the third vaccine of the course. This is the only way to ensure that you are protected against the Hepatitis B virus.

Staff working on hospital sites but not employed by the NHS need to discuss with their manager what provision is made for their Hepatitis B immunisation. If there are any queries, employees need to contact their Occupational Health.


Measles immunisation

New requirements:

With recent changes to national standards, individuals working in health care need to ensure that all members of staff (doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners, other healthcare practitioners, support staff etc.) who…

  • work in clinical areas (particularly if high-risk)
  • have regular patient contact

…have been screened and are fully protected against measles.

We are currently sending letters to staff to whom this applies advising that they must either:-

  • Provide us with the evidence regarding their measles vaccinations / immunisation status 
  • If they do not have the evidence required to contact the Measles Hotline on extension 274258 (01223 274258) to make an appointment for a measles immunisation check.
  • Book into an immunisation clinic online (this service will be available in the near future).

Why be immunised?

Measles is highly contagious and can cause serious health complications. Measles cases in England and Wales rose by 36% in 2008 – the highest increase since monitoring began in 1995 (source: Health Protection Agency).

Who should be immunised?

Employees who have direct patient contact require two immunisations against measles to ensure adequate immunity or a blood test showing a positive antibody result which indicates previous infection or vaccination.

A single measles immunisation has been shown not to provide adequate protection against the disease for all individuals.

What does it involve?

  • If no immunisation was given during childhood – two MMR vaccines are required, at least one month apart
  • If a single measles vaccination or MMR was given during childhood a second MMR is required

Do I need an appointment?

  • Staff who have been contacted by letter should contact the Measles Hotline on extension 274258 (01223 274258) to make an appointment for a measles immunisation check.

Note: Pregnancy is contra-indicated during the vaccination period and for three months after completion of the course.


Protecting your staff

In addition to contacting staff members requiring immunisation by letter, we also regularly contact managers in high risk areas with lists of staff identified as lacking document evidence of immunity. If you are a manager at Addenbrooke’s or West Suffolk in one of the following areas:

  • Critical Care (IDA, ITU, NCCU)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Transplant
  • The Rosie
  • Paediatrics
  • Oncology
  • Emergency Department
  • Radiology
  • Physiotherapy

Then you should already be receiving updates about staff in your area. If you have not been contacted and you wish to ensure the staff and patients in your department are protected against measles, please contact the Measles Hotline on extension 4258 or send us an e-mail to: ohschelpline@addenbrookes.nhs.uk.


Tuberculosis immunisation

The incidence of Tuberculosis (TB) in the community has increased in recent years. The symptoms of TB are a persistent cough lasting more than three weeks, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. Transmission of TB is a recognised risk in healthcare work for both patients and healthcare workers.

Who will be immunised?

The majority of employees will have been immunised against TB in childhood by a BCG vaccination. This causes a small scab to form and leaves a scar at the injection site.

Healthcare workers who have not been immunised need to attend one of our oh Occupational Health and Wellbeing sites for assessment and advice.

What does this involve?

Testing for immunity to TB is always carried out before immunisation. This involves either a Mantoux skin test, which is carried out in the designated Occupational Health clinic or with an IGRA blood test. Currently all workers considered as high risk are having the IGRA blood test due to the national shortage of the BCG immunisation. This ensures that anyone who comes back positive from an IGRA test can be referred onto the TB clinic for support and assessment.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, please contact us on extension 216767 to make an appointment.

Note: If you are a new clinical employee to West Suffolk Hospital or Addenbrooke’s who has lived or worked abroad for more than three months, in the last five years, in a country where there is a high incidence of TB, a clear chest x-ray result is required prior to commencing work. You will also require a Mantoux or IGRA  test. If you think this applies to you, please contact us on extension 2767.


Chicken-pox (Varicella-Zoster virus) immunisation

The majority of the UK population will have had chicken-pox or have acquired immunity to the disease. However, employees from tropical countries may not have this protection. There is now an immunisation available for healthcare workers.

Who will be immunised?

Staff who work in a health care setting, are in direct patient contact and are not already immune should be immunised.

What does this involve?

  • A blood test to test for chicken-pox (VZV) immunity

Then, for those whose blood test shows that they are not immune:

  • A course of two immunisations given four to eight weeks apart (a follow-up blood test is not required). Please arrange an appointment as soon as possible after your blood test. If the blood test is more than 6 months old you will need to be re-bled.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, if you have any queries or need to make an appointment please contact us on extension 216767.

Note: Pregnancy is contra-indicated during the vaccination period and for three months after completion of the course.


Seasonal Flu Vaccine

We organise and supply the seasonal flu vaccine for staff. Those working at Addenbrooke’s and West Suffolk Hospital are eligible for a free vaccine.

Play your part in exterminating flu this winter: Protect yourself and others by making sure you have your flu vaccination.

Please remember:

  • The flu vaccine is still the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause serious illness and potentially death
  • Wash your hands – you can reduce the spread of flu by regularly washing your hands. You can pass flu on without having any symptoms, so wash your hands regularly
  • Stay away – if you have flu, please stay away from work until you are better. The virus is highly infectious and outbreaks can happen quickly
  • If you work in Addenbrooke’s or West Suffolk Hospital and have already had your flu vaccination somewhere else, such as at your GP Practice, please inform us or call 216767, so your vaccination can count towards the Trust’s NHS target

Vast research has been conducted on the effectiveness and usefulness of the influenza vaccination.  “Annual vaccination against influenza (flu) is recommended for all staff working in the UK National Health Service (NHS) to help reduce the risk of contracting the virus and transmitting it to patients. Around 23% of healthcare workers may become infected with flu during a mild flu season and, of these, 28–59% will have subclinical illness. Healthcare workers therefore represent an important vector for transmission to patients. Importantly, in a cluster randomised controlled trial, flu vaccination of care home staff has been found to reduce mortality, morbidity and health service use among residents. However, vaccination uptake in England for the flu season (2013–2014) was only 54.8% for healthcare workers with direct patient contact. By NHS trust, the median was 53.5%”.

Shrikrishna, D., Williams, S., Restrick, L., & Hopkinson, N. S. (2015). Influenza vaccination for NHS staff: attitudes and uptake. BMJ open respiratory research2(1), e000079.

For the full article please click this link.

 

 

Cambridge University Hospitals