In 45% of practices visited, GPs had not considered vaccinations required for members of staff. The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 20132 makes provision for this if there is a risk to the health or safety of employees caused by working with a biological agent. A biological agent includes a virus, bacterium or fungus that has an ability to adversely affect human health.
The Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines for Primary Care state: “In addition to GPs and Practice Nurses, administrative and cleaning staff may be exposed to communicable diseases and/or blood/bodily fluid exposure, and therefore should be vaccinated as appropriate. Decisions about vaccinations recommended should be based on the duties of the individual rather than on job title alone.”3
All clinical and nonclinical staff should be offered vaccination if a risk assessment reveals that their work may expose them to blood borne virus infection and other infectious diseases, eg, Hepatitis B, influenza.2 Please also refer to the RCPI’s Immunisation Guidelines for Ireland.4