The American College of Physicians is calling on all health care providers to be immunized against influenza and several other communicable diseases.
With severe flu activity widespread in most of the country, officials at the American College of Physicians (ACP) approved a policy recommendation that all health care providers be immunized against not only influenza; but also against diphtheria; hepatitis B; measles, mumps, and rubella; pertussis; and varicella. The policy follows the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Adult Immunization Schedule.
The ACP policy allows for exemptions for those with medical contraindications or religious objections.
"These transmissible infectious diseases represent a threat to health care providers and the patients we serve, who are often highly vulnerable to infection," Dr. David L. Bronson, ACP president, said in a statement. "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."
The ACP is currently working on a 3-year, evidence-based program to increase adult immunization rates in five states (Arizona, Delaware, Northern Illinois, Maryland, and New York). The program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.