Immunization Offer Targeting Migrants: Policies and Practices in Italy
Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, and Public Health, University of Padova, 35122 Padova , Italy
National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, ISS), viale Regina Elena, 299-00161 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Italian survey CARE Working Group: Stefania Iannazzo (Ministery of Health), Anna Domenica Mignuoli (Calabria Region), Anna Tosti (Umbria Region), Lorenza Ferrara (Local Health Unit of Alessandria, Piemonte Region), Maria Grazia Pascucci and Roberto Cagarelli (Emilia Romagna Region), Maria Grazia Zuccali (Trento Autonomous Province), Maria José Caldés (Global Health Center, Toscania Region), Martina Bortoletto (Veneto Region), Monica Bevilacqua (Bolzano Autonomous Province), Patrizia Carletti (Observatory on Health Inequalities, Marche Region), Pierina Tanchis (Sardegna Region), Rosa Prato and Maria Giovanna Cappelli (University of Foggia, Puglia Region), Maria Serena Gallone (University of Bari, Puglia Region), Sabrina Senatore (Lombardia Region), Valentina Brussi (Local Health Unit of Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia Region), Tolinda Gallo (Friuli Venezia Giulia Region), Mario Palermo (Sicilia Region); [email protected]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050968
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 12 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee, Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health)
The unprecedented flow of migrants over the last three years places Italy in front of new issues regarding medical care from the rescue phase up to the integration into the national health services, including preventive actions. We used online questionnaires to investigate the Italian national and regional policies for immunization offer targeting asylum seekers, refugees, irregular migrants and unaccompanied minors. Another questionnaire was used to assess how these policies are translated into practice in migrant reception centres and community health services. Questionnaires were filled out at the national level, in 14 out of 21 Regions/Autonomous Provinces, and in 36 community health services and 28 migrant reception centres. Almost all responders stated that all vaccinations included in the National Immunization Plan are offered to migrant children and adolescents. The situation concerning adults is fragmented, with most of the Regions and local centres offering more vaccines than the national offer—which include polio, tetanus and measles–mumps-rubella. Data on immunized immigrants is archived at the regional/local level with different methods and not available at the national level. Further efforts to ensure consistency in vaccine provision and adequate mechanisms of exchanging data are needed to guarantee a complete vaccination offer and avoid unnecessary health actions, including unnecessary re-vaccination.