The recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate among early childhood education (ECE) staff highlights the important role ECE staff have in the transmission of infectious diseases. However, there are no data on general vaccine uptake for this group in New Zealand. Additionally, the importance of ECE staff vaccination as a strategy to prevent illness has been rarely promoted in the past, and recommendations for other vaccinations in this group are lacking.
Here we present a section of data accessed from an ECE-sector employment survey of more than 4,000 teaching staff, which inquired into the immunisation status of respondents. The data indicated that self-reported immunisation coverage for whooping cough, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B among ECE staff was approximately 50%. Self-reported immunisation status was higher for measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox in this group.
The findings highlight the need for more comprehensive vaccination policy and research in ECE settings.
Prasad N, Turner N & Alexander S.
New Zealand Medical Journal 135 (1548)