The fairly recent increase in the incidence/awareness of pertussis had led to many family doctors and OB-GYNs recommending booster shots for those involved in the care of young children. The actual recommendation is that all adults receive this vaccine at least every 10 years.
We have recently had two suspected pertussis (one confirmed) cases on our unit, and it became apparent how few nurses and doctors were actually up to date on their vaccine. One patient (the confirmed case) spent several hours in our ER and nearly 12 hours in our PICU before droplet precautions were initiated for suspected pertussis. Now, every staff member who came within three feet of the patient without a face mask needs prophylactic treatment (course of Azithromycin and a booster). The more unfortunate fact is the possible cross-contamination that occurred since the patient wasn't promptly placed on droplet isolation.
While I had planned on getting the DTaP booster due to my pregnancy anyway, I was not aware that a booster was recommended every ten years. I was discussing with the employee health MD why this was not a required titer/immunization before starting employment. (Hepatitis B and MMR are required titers, as is a PPD). Her answer, which seems pretty lame, was that most people don't like painful shots.
But it got me thinking- has your hospital instituted a policy regarding getting a TDaP booster, given that pertussis outbreaks are becoming increasingly common? Are employees encouraged or required to get a booster, if they haven't had one recently?