Health care workers may be exposed to, and transmit, vaccine-preventable diseases such as influenza, measles, rubella and pertussis. Maintaining immunity in the health care worker population helps prevent transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases to and from health care workers and patients. The likelihood of contact with patients and/or blood or body substances determines vaccination recommendations. Health care workers should receive the vaccines they require before or within the first few weeks of employment, with the exception of influenza vaccine, which should be administered annually between March and May. Work activities, rather than job title, should be considered on an individual basis to ensure an appropriate level of protection is afforded to each health care worker. Medical facilities are encouraged to formulate a comprehensive immunisation policy for all health care workers. Each worker should be individually assessed for specific vaccines, taking possible contraindications into account.