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Abstract

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of both exposure and transmission of infectious disease. Two European Union (EU) directives state that health services are responsible for assessing their employees’ potential exposure to infectious diseases and offering immunisation free of charge. We assessed current policy for immunisation of HCWs and the availability of vaccine coverage data in the Nordic countries by surveying national vaccination experts in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as Swedish county medical officers (CMOs). All national experts and 17 of 21 Swedish CMOs responded. All EU countries had transposed the European directives into national law, while Norway and Iceland had similar national legislation. Recommendations or guidelines were issued in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and 15 of 17 responding Swedish counties. The range of diseases covered differed by countries and Swedish counties. HCW vaccine coverage data were not systematically collected; incomplete estimates were only available for Finland and two Swedish counties. In conclusion, recommendations or guidelines exist in the Nordic countries, but their impact cannot be assessed, as vaccine uptake among HCWs is not currently measured. Systematic collection of data is a necessary step towards improving HCW immunisation policy and practice in the Nordic countries.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.4.1900555
2021-01-28
2021-12-01
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.4.1900555
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