Occupations at risk of vaccine preventable diseases

Certain occupations, particularly those related to healthcare, are associated with an increased risk of some vaccine-preventable diseases or infections that may easily be prevented by being immunised. Employees may be sick and pass on the disease to others who are more susceptible. For susceptible people, it can cause serious health complications.

These diseases can include:

Occupations at risk

SA Health's Immunisation Section recommends employees in the following occupations are immunised with the recommended vaccines

Health care workers

All health care workers, including those working in remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia. See information on the latest changes to the HCW immunisation requirements in South Australia.

Working with children

Includes all persons working as:

  • child counselling services workers
  • childcare and preschool staff
  • childcare students
  • correctional facilities staff working where infants/children cohabitate with mothers
  • school teachers
  • student teachers
  • outside school hours carers
  • youth services workers.


Includes all persons:

  • working with people with developmental disabilities
  • working in nursing homes
  • working in long-term care facilities
  • providing home care to people at risk of high influenza complications.

Emergency and essential service workers

Includes the following:

  • police officers
  • emergency workers
  • armed forces personnel
  • staff of correctional facilities
  • staff of detention and immigration centres.

Laboratory personnel

Those working with specimens and other infectious agents.

Working with specific communities

Those living or making frequent visits to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.

Working with animals

Those working with animals including:

  • vets, veterinary nurses and students
  • abattoir workers
  • agricultural college staff and students exposed to animals and livestock at high risk of transmitting disease
  • wildlife and zoo workers
  • poultry workers and staff handling poultry
  • staff who come in regular contact with bats.

Exposed to human tissue, blood, body fluids or sewerage

People exposed to human tissue, blood, body fluids or sewerage including:

  • funeral workers and embalmers
  • sex industry workers
  • tattooists and body piercers
  • plumbers.

Accessing the vaccines

To receive any of the recommended vaccines, please contact your doctor, local council or community health centre to arrange an appointment. For further information on vaccine providers, see the Immunisation services page.

Individuals will need to establish whether the recommended vaccines will be self or employer funded. There will be a cost for the vaccines and there may be a cost for the appointment with the immunisation provider.

For those occupations listed requiring Q Fever vaccinations, please contact a provider listed on the Q Fever Vaccination Providers in South Australia (PDF 109KB)

Further information

For further information on vaccines, immunisation programs please contact your local doctor, immunisation provider or refer to the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

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