During the 2017-2018 flu vaccine season, the effectiveness of vaccination against influenza A and B viruses was %40. The statistics for this year are believed to be higher.
Most of the contagious diseases spread in public places/workplace can be prevented by vaccines. Vaccination has proved to be the most effective way in the battle against some diseases such as smallpox.
As the structure of viruses changes over time, you need to be updated and get vaccinated annually against some viruses.
But what are the most common illnesses in the workplace? When should you get/avoid vaccines? Are there any possible dangers related to vaccination?
In this blog, we try to cover the most frequent questions asked by our clients at Southern Nevada Occupational Health Center (SNOHC) about vaccination.
What is vaccination?
Vaccination is a form of treatment that enforces the body against a particular infection. It involves injecting a weak type of the virus/bacteria into the body to stimulate the immune system and help it in the fight against the real viruses.
The first successful vaccine was developed by Edward Jenner in 1796. He demonstrated immunity to smallpox by injecting a vaccinia virus (cowpox) into a boy.
Required vaccines for employees
According to OSHA, some vaccines are required and recommended for employees. Vaccines help you to be protected from diseases. When you receive a specific dose of the vaccine, the body releases antibodies, making you immune to the disease. Some vaccines need to be renewed after some years, but some need to be repeated yearly.
You can read about them below:
Hep A & B Vaccine
The term hepatitis means liver infection. Hep A is a very contagious virus that causes liver infection. The virus most commonly spreads when you eat or drink something contaminated. The Hep A vaccine can easily prevent infection. It is recommended to travelers or workers in Mexico, or the risk of hepatitis is high.
Hep B, An infection caused by hepatitis B can lead to liver scarring, or cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
The virus can get passed from person to person through body fluids, semen, or blood. Hep B vaccine is mandatory in almost all the states of America. The Hepatitis B vaccine is injected in three doses in the arm, there should be a 1-month distance between the first dose and second dose, and the distance between the third dose and first dose should be six months. After receiving the third dose, you are protected over %90 of the disease.
Vaccination applies to employees who are exposed to bloodborne pathogens, dental offices, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and home health agencies, correctional officers, laundry workers, and anyone who is susceptible to unhealthy situations.
An influenza is a form of viral infection that affects an individual’s respiratory tract — your nose, throat, and lungs. It is commonly called the flu, is very similar to cold but more powerful than getting cold. For protection against flu, you can have one dose of flu vaccine annually. The flu vaccine is injected into the arm. Flu vaccine targeted three or four types of flu viruses that are most likely to make you sick during the year. The best vaccination time is early in fall before the flu season begins. October is known as the golden time for vaccination. Getting the flu vaccine later even into January or later is beneficial, but the effects may come down.
Vaccination is highly important for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. Adults over 65, pregnant women, young children, those who suffer Asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease & stroke, and children with Neurologic Conditions are mostly considered as people at high risk. This vaccine is not mandatory in the USA because some employees may be medically unable to receive the flu vaccine.f
MMR is for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella are types of viruses.
Measles is a viral infection that causes fever and a red rash on the skin, typically occurring in childhood. Measles are particularly dangerous for pregnant women during pregnancy that can lead to premature labor or even miscarriage.
Mumps is one of the viral diseases caused by the mumps virus. The signs and symptoms that initially appear are fever, muscle pain, headache, poor appetite, and feeling generally unwell. Then, it is followed by a painful swelling of one or both parotid salivary glands.
Rubella is an infection that can cause severe defects, mostly for the fetus. For the fetus, it can lead to severe birth defects or even fatal death. In children and adults, rubella virus infection generally causes rashes. Seizures and joint pain are more common complications seen in adult infections.
To prevent infections by measles, mumps, and rubella, all people need to take the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine is administered via injection, typically into the arm.
When should you take the MMR Vaccines?
Routine immunization is recommended for all American children: the first dose conducted at about 12-15 months, and the second dose performed at about 4-6 years of age.
People born in 1957 or after that, might be considered immune to MMR if they can provide the confirmed documents of immunity or appropriate vaccination against MMR.
People who work in medical facilities should be immune to MMR. These people should have two documented doses of MMR. Two doses of MMR vaccine should be considered for unvaccinated people born before 1957 who do not have confirmation for immunity to measles or mumps, and one dose of MMR vaccine should be considered for people with no laboratory evidence of disease or immunity to rubella.
Varicella Vaccine (Chickenpox)
Varicella Vaccine is for protection from Chickenpox. Chickenpox is a viral disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV); it can easily get spread in the air by sneezing, coughing, or by direct contact with infected blisters, saliva, or mucus.
The virus can cause fever, sore throat, and rashes that itch and blister and later form scabs. This vaccine is recommended to children between 12 and 15 months old, and another dose for further protection at the ages of 4 and 6. children younger than 13 but older than six who have not had the chickenpox vaccination may also receive the vaccine, with two doses given three months apart.
The adults who have not been vaccinated before, need two doses of vaccine. Women who are planning to get pregnant within a month or are pregnant should not get this vaccine.
DTaP and Tdap vaccines (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis)
Tetanus virus can enter the body through a wound or cut. It affects the nervous system, brain, and causes extremely painful muscle spasms. Spasms in the jaw could make it impossible for you to open your mouth. This condition is often called “lockjaw.”
Diphtheria is a kind of contagious infection that makes it difficult to breathe. In some severe cases, it can cause nerve and heart damage.
Pertussis, or as called whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection and could lead to serious breathing problems, particularly in infants. First, pertussis appears like a normal cold, then causes severe uncontrollable coughing spells.
When the infected one tries to take a breath after coughing, A “whoop” noise is heard.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis are illnesses that can be easily protected by DTaP and Tdap vaccines nowadays. 2 months old children start to get five dose vaccination, then at four months, six months, 15-18 months, and lastly, at 4-6 years of age.
Smallpox was deadly and killed 300 million to 500 million people around the world in the last century. The disease only stopped by vaccination.The first successful vaccine was discovered for smallpox in 1796.
Vaccination has proved to be an essential part of our family and public health. They prevent the spread of deadly, dangerous, contagious diseases.
In this article, we studied the most important and effective ways to prevent contagious diseases. SNOHC has performed occupational health services for +15 years in Las Vegas. For more information, please visit www.snohc.com . Don’t forget to let us know what you think about this blog in the comment section below.