Saturday, September 5, 2009

Definition of Health Care Personnel for H1N1 Vaccine Purposes

One question we are getting quite often is, "what is the definition of health care personnel for the purposes of identifying those who are high priority for receiving the H1N1 vaccine when it arrives later this fall?" The answer is below, from the
August 28, 2009 MMWR, Vol/ 58 / Ro. RR-10, page 5:

“§ Health-care personnel (HCP) include all paid and unpaid persons working in health-care settings who have the potential for exposure to patients with influ­enza, infectious materials, including body substances, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, or contaminated environmental surfaces. HCP might include (but are not limited to) physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharma­cists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health-care facility, and persons (e.g., clerical, dietary, housekeeping, maintenance, and volunteers) not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from HCP. The recommendations in this report apply to HCP in acute-care hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, physicians’ offices, urgent care centers, and outpatient clinics, and to persons who provide home health care and emergency medical services (27). Emergency medical services personnel might include persons in an occupation (e.g., emergency medical technicians and fire fighters) who provide emergency medical care as part of their normal job duties.”

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