With a severe flu season underway, American College of Physicians urges all adults to get a flu shot if they haven't already and to talk with their internist about other immunizations they might need.
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 health care providers 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."
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.