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Working in certain occupations and undertaking various job demands can increase your exposure and risk of contracting a vaccine-preventable disease. Many vaccine-preventable diseases are serious with the ability to cause lifelong complications. For example, hepatitis B can cause chronic infection that leads to ongoing complications whereas rubella can infect an unborn baby in the case a pregnant employee is infected. Infections such as these are highly contagious and have the ability to transmit between employees, their family and the wider community².

Through the implementation of an occupational immunisation program, employers can mitigate this risk to ensure employees are appropriately protected. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, occupational vaccination is recommended for employees who⁴:

  • Are exposed to sewage, human tissue, body fluids or blood
  • Work in healthcare, with animals, with children, in remote areas or in a laboratory
  • Are carers or emergency and essential service personnel

The Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aging has published information detailing occupational vaccinations in The Australian Immunisation Handbook¹. However, we have also included a table below that details recommended vaccinations that KINNECT can administer for certain occupations. For further information or advice on occupations not listed please consult the handbook.

OccupationRecommended vaccinations
Healthcare employees (patient care/handling human tissue)• Hepatitis A (employees working in remote Indigenous communities/with Indigenous children)
• Hepatitis B
• Measles, Mumps & Rubella
Employees working with children• Measles, Mumps & Rubella
• Hepatitis A (early childhood education/childcare)
Carers• Hepatitis A/B (employees working with people who have developmental disabilities)
• Measles, Mumps & Rubella (nursing home/long-term care employees)
Emergency and essential services personnel• Hepatitis B
• Tetanus
• Measles, Mumps & Rubella (armed forces; correctional facilities staff; detention and immigration centre staff)
Laboratory employees• Rabies (employees handling bat tissues or lyssaviruses (including rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus)
• Polio (employees working with poliomyelitis virus)
• Typhoid (employees working with salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi)
• Yellow Fever (employees working with yellow fever virus)
Employees who work in remote communities• Hepatitis A (employees who live with, or make frequent visits to, remote Indigenous communities in NT, QLD, SA and WA)
Employees who work with animals• Rabies (veterinarians, veterinary students and veterinary nurses; people who come into regular contact with bats (both ‘flying foxes’ and microbats), bat handlers, bat scientists, wildlife officers, zoo curators)
Other people exposed to human tissue, blood, body fluids or sewage• Hepatitis A & Tetanus (plumbers or other workers in regular contact with untreated sewage)
• Hepatitis B (embalmers; workers who perform skin penetration procedures (e.g. tattooists, body-piercers); funeral workers and other workers who have regular contact with human tissue, blood or body fluids and/or used needles or syringes)

Source: Queensland Government Occupational Immunisations

How can I implement an occupational immunisation program³?

An occupational immunisation program should be implemented in your workplace if a risk assessment of the environment states that your employees are at risk of contracting a vaccine-preventable disease. This risk assessment can be conducted by consulting the above advice and information listed in The Australian Immunisation Handbook and comparing this to your employees’ work environment.

The development of an occupational immunisation policy should include the vaccination requirements, how refusal, medical contraindication and vaccine failure will be managed, as well as how employees will be protected between vaccination and immunity.

The implementation of an occupational immunisation program achieves a return on investment as it has been proven to be more cost effective than managing exposure and consequent outbreak. Furthermore, vaccination prevents disruption to productivity and services, meaning that your employees are able to continue with their work.

What should be done about employees who refuse or are unable to be vaccinated³?

Employees that either refuse vaccination or have medical contraindications that preclude them from being vaccinated should be protected from infection in order to achieve a safe and healthy workplace. The employee should receive an appropriate work placement and personal protective equipment to reduce their chances of contracting any vaccine-preventable disease. Additionally, work restrictions may have to be implemented to restrict the employee from completing any workplace activities that involve exposure.

Should other control measures complement an occupational immunisation program³?

Although vaccination is integral in preventing disease, other control measures such as hygiene is important to mitigate risk. Personal hygiene, including hand washing, assist in protecting employees from workplace infections that may not be vaccine-preventable. Additionally, certain employees may have a weak immune system or may not respond to vaccination so ensuring hygiene practices are up to standard assists in the protection of all employees.

How can KINNECT assist?

KINNECT offers a fully managed occupational immunisation service, either conveniently onsite at your workplace, or within a locally based clinic. Site-based immunisation is an excellent option for those locations concerned with down time associated with such a program, whilst maximising coverage of all personnel. The immunisation program will be coordinated by a dedicated account manager at KINNECT and contact details will be provided at time of confirmation.

As part of KINNECT’s procedure, your employees will be encouraged to undertake a serology to determine their immune status. This serology test is best practice and can save you in the long term by making sure you are only vaccinating people who are non-immune.  This immunity report will be sent to you with details of vaccination requirements and costs. We then arrange for the employee to receive the appropriate vaccinations either onsite at your workplace or through one of our 350+ affiliated clinics throughout Australia. On completion of the immunisation, we store your employee’s records on our online platform, Carelever, which you will have access to.


  1. Australian Government Department of Health, Australian Immunisation Handbook;
  2. Australian Government Department of Health, Immunisation for work;
  3. Office of Industrial Relations Workplace Health and Safety, Vaccine-preventable diseases and immunisation programs;
  4. Queensland Government, Occupational immunisations;

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