Vaccination campaign strategies in recently arrived migrants: experience of an Italian reception centre
Keywords:vaccine, immunization rate, migrants, vaccination strategies
Introduction: Control of vaccine preventable diseases, while constituting a priority of European health policies, is challenged by migrations from countries with suboptimal levels of immunization coverage. We report here two different types of vaccination campaign strategy in one of the bigger Italian asylum seekers’ centres. The vaccination service staff of the local national health institute came monthly during the first three years of observation, while in the last year, the vaccinations were offered directly upon arrival of migrants in the asylum seekers’ centre.
Methodology: we performed a descriptive cross-sectional study that analysed data collected from the database of the internal healthcare facility and ARVA Target tool, regarding vaccinations performed from 2013 to 2017 in the asylum seekers’ centre.
Results: In the four years of observation period the asylum seekers centre hosted 3941 migrants. Among them, 85% were vaccinated during their stay, for a total of 4252 vaccinations administered, covering 95% of minors and 85% of adults. During the study period, there was an important increase from an average of 10.5% of migrants vaccinated in the first three years to 66% in the last year, when vaccines were delivered directly upon arrival in the centre.
Conclusions: To improve the rate of immunization in migrants, the first requirement is a strong collaboration with the local vaccine services and the second,vaccinations must be carried out when migrants arrive at the asylum seekers’ centre, avoiding any delay.
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