Immunizations help prevent serious diseases. For immunizations to be effective, they must be given as scheduled. Researchers regularly discover new information concerning immunizations, such as who should receive them and when, so it might be helpful for you to stay up to date on the latest recommendations.
Vaccines currently prevent 16 diseases. These diseases were commonplace ailments that left many people deaf, paralyzed, or even dead. Many parents spoke to the fear of their children contracting diseases such as diphtheria, polio and measles prior to an available vaccine. Today we have no firsthand knowledge of these terrible diseases and tend to take their efficacy for granted, often refusing vaccines or delaying them. This weakens the herd community that we desperately depend upon to keep these diseases at bay.
The more people that are vaccinated, the more protected we are as a society in warding off vaccine preventable diseases. This is called herd immunity. Vaccine herd immunity has been proven to be effective for over a century. Herd immunity is important because some members of a society cannot safely receive vaccines for various reasons. Those members are protected because of the herd immunity of their community group. When the majority of people are vaccinated, the chances of a resurgence or outbreak of any vaccine preventable disease is far less likely and keeps the entire group safe. People with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other illnesses cannot always receive a vaccination and therefore rely on herd immunity to protect them from potentially deadly diseases.
Though it is helpful for you to be knowledgeable of immunizations, it is the directors responsibility to get immunization information from families to ensure your program is in compliance with all health-related regulations. It is important for teachers to be immunized also, so ensure that you follow your program's guidelines in terms of recommended immunizations for staff members.
Adults should be immunized against hepatitis B. Employees who are expected to provide first aid may have that fact included in their job description.
Your program’s Exposure Control Plan should have sections related to care of unvaccinated employees exposed to blood or other body fluids that may contain harmful viruses. OSHA regulations requires that each at risk employee must receive training information about the benefits of hepatitis B vaccine and vaccination within 10 working days of the employee’s initial assignment. The Health Dept. recommends a routine booster dose (s) of hepatitis B vaccine.
Those who do not have the hepatitis B vaccine and get blood on their skin, particularly broken skin (cuts, scrapes, scratches, hangnails, chafing, acne, etc) must tell their employer, before the end of the work shift during which the incident occurred.