American College of Physicians calls for immunizations for all health care providers

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has approved a policy recommendation that all health care providers (HCPs) be immunized against influenza; diphtheria; hepatitis B; measles, mumps, and rubella; pertussis (whooping cough); and varicella (chickenpox) according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Adult Immunization Schedule. ACP's policy exempts HCPs for medical reasons or a religious objection to immunization.

"These transmissible infectious diseases represent a threat to and the patients we serve, who are often highly vulnerable to infection," said David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president, ACP. "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 by absent workers due to illness."

With a severe flu season underway, ACP urges all adults to get a if they haven't already and to talk with their internist about other immunizations they might need. Only 39 percent of adults received the flu vaccine during the 2011-12 season. People who cannot get a flu shot or other immunizations for medical reasons should talk to their internist about other ways of protecting themselves.

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