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Several professional groups need vaccinations for their work


Myös päivähoidon työntekijät tarvitsevat rokotuksia työnsä puolesta

In addition to social and health care, employees in many other fields also need vaccinations for their work.

The employer must ensure that employees receive vaccinations if they are at risk of exposure to microbes that cause significant health risks and for which there is a vaccine. The employer pays for the vaccine, says Kari Reijula, professor of occupational health at the University of Helsinki and vice dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

Occupational health services identify risks and vaccination needs 

The Occupational Health Care Act obliges employers to provide occupational health care to all employees. Employees receive vaccinations included in the national vaccination program from their own health center, but work-related vaccinations are given in occupational health care. 

− The employer must know in which situations and job tasks employees may come into contact with biological hazards, and occupational health care must conduct a workplace survey that defines different job tasks and assesses their risks as well as the need for vaccinations, says Reijula. He has worked as an occupational health physician for 35 years.

Vaccinations for different occupational groups

Daycare workers: 

  • Recommended influenza vaccine, which protects workers from influenza which young children often get. 
  • Varicella vaccine protects women under 45 who have not had chickenpox from chickenpox during pregnancy. 
  • MMR vaccine protects both workers and daycare-aged children who have not yet received the MMR vaccine from measles, mumps, and rubella.

School employees: The varicella vaccine protects women under 45 who have not had chickenpox from chickenpox during pregnancy.
Laboratory workers: Employees handling samples containing pathogens must be vaccinated when an effective and safe vaccine is available. Booster vaccinations are given to employees handling seasonal influenza virus and poliovirus.
Prison workers and police: Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended. It is particularly important to vaccinate health care personnel in prisons.
Waste management workers: Usually, the usual adult vaccination protection is sufficient. However, vaccination may be appropriate against hepatitis A and polio transmitted through feces if hepatitis A or polioviruses occur locally in wastewater, for example due to an epidemic.
Field workers: In the area where tick-borne encephalitis occurs in Åland and elsewhere in Finland, there is a risk of infection for people working in the field during the thaw season, such as farmers, forestry workers, fishermen and construction workers. Their vaccination should be considered.

Please also read about the vaccinations of social and health care professionals.

Text: Leena Koskensalo