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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


ESPINOZA-MORA, María del Rosario; LAZO-PAEZ, Gustavo  and  SCHAUER, Christian. Immunization in health care workers. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2019, vol.61, n.1, pp.6-12. ISSN 0001-6002.


Immune prophylaxis in health care personnel induces multiple positive effects that include protection for patients, as well as for employees and results with a clear benefit for the employers. Especially in immunological compromised patient groups and individuals who present a diminished potential to develop immunity to vaccination, contagion prevention is of highest importance. Systematic immunization programs can help to lower disease risks, minimize impact of occupational accidents related to handling of contagious materials and maintain the intactness of workforce in medical centers during periods of seasonal infection outbreaks.


This article resumes the present recommended schemes for vaccination of health care personnel and concludes them in a guideline adapted to the country´s epidemiologic reality.


A non-systematic revision of medical literature related to immunization of health care personnel, published online between 1990 and 2018, was realized. In the same manner, a comparison of active vaccination schemes existing in Europe and the United States of America has been executed.


The transmission of infectious diseases in health care installations represents a frequently ignored problem which substantially elevates the infection risk of patients as well as of health care personnel. The vaccination of health care personnel represents the easiest to imply and most effective strategy to inhibit this kind of transmission of infectious diseases. As well, this measure can create a “herd immunity” protecting patients and health care personnel who are not vaccinated or in conditions where they can not develop sufficient immunity against infectious agents. Furthermore, the immunization of the health care workers represents a reference and an example of motivation to other parts of the population.

Keywords : vaccine; health care system; health care personnel; immune response; immunodeficiency.

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