Based on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that health care personnel be part of the group that receives the first doses of vaccines against COVID-19.
Healthcare personnel include all persons, paid and unpaid, who provide services in healthcare settings and who are at risk of direct or indirect exposure to infectious materials or patients.
This recommendation reaches out to paid and unpaid healthcare personnel working in various healthcare settings, such as acute care facilities, long-term care facilities, outpatient rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and living facilities. assisted, home health providers, mobile clinics, and ambulatory care facilities such as dialysis centers and doctor’s offices.
Healthcare personnel may include:
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Nursing staff and nursing assistants
- Hygienists and dental assistants
- Students and staff in training
- Hired staff
- Nutritional and gastronomic services staff
- Environmental services staff
- Administrative staff
CDC understands that it is important to vaccinate these personnel first because they continue to be the first line of defense against this deadly pandemic across the country.
The race and ethnicity, underlying conditions, type of occupation, and work environment of health care personnel can all contribute to your risk for COVID-19 and serious complications, including death.
By providing crucial services to those infected or potentially infected by the virus that causes COVID-19, healthcare workers are at high risk of being exposed to and contracting COVID-19.
Also, when healthcare workers fall ill with COVID-19 they cannot work or provide key services to their patients or clients. Given the evidence of ongoing COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers and the critical role they play in caring for others, consistently protecting them at work, at home and in the community remains a national priority.
According to the CDC, early access to the vaccine is crucial to ensuring the health and safety of this essential workforce of some 21 million people, to protect not only them, but also their patients, families, communities and health in general of the entire population.
Similarly, healthcare workers who contract COVID-19 can also spread the virus to those in their care, such as hospitalized patients and residents of long-term care facilities.
Many of these people may have underlying conditions that increase their risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. Also, healthcare personnel can spread the virus to other healthcare workers.