1California Emerging Infections Program, 360 22nd St. Suite 750, Oakland, CA 94612, USA. Tel 510-350-3370, fax 510-451-3210. firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help protect healthcare personnel (HCP) from infection and to prevent possible disease transmission to their patients, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends vaccination of all HCP, including students. We sought to gather information on the vaccination policies of U.S. health professional (i.e., non-physician HCP) programs and to compare those requirements to current ACIP recommendations. METHODS. A self-administered, internet-based survey sent to 2,779 U.S. health professional programs was used to collect data on program demographics; student vaccination requirements; deadlines for adherence, consequences for non-adherence, and permitted exemptions to these requirements; and factors influencing the program's vaccination policy. RESULTS. The response rate was 75%. Among 2,077 responding programs, 19% required all ACIP-recommended vaccines for HCP-87% required measles, mumps, and rubella; 84% required hepatitis B; 75% required varicella; 48% required tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap); and 32% required influenza. Programs reviewing requirements at least annually and those that reported the ACIP influenced requirements were significantly more likely to require varicella, Tdap, and influenza vaccine. During the 2009-2010 influenza season, only 59% of programs offered influenza vaccine to students. CONCLUSION. Health professional schools should update their vaccination requirements annually to be consistent with ACIP recommendations.