Immunisation of migrants in EU/EEA countries: Policies and practices
Del Manso, Martina
Adel Ali, Karam
Venice survey working group
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In recent years various EU/EEA countries have experienced an influx of migrants from low and middle-income countries. In 2018, the "Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort (VENICE)" survey group conducted a survey among 30 EU/EEA countries to investigate immunisation policies and practices targeting irregular migrants, refugees and asylum seekers (later called "migrants" in this report). Twenty-nine countries participated in the survey. Twenty-eight countries reported having national policies targeting children/adolescent and adult migrants, however vaccinations offered to adult migrants are limited to specific conditions in seven countries. All the vaccinations included in the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) are offered to children/adolescents in 27/28 countries and to adults in 13/28 countries. In the 15 countries offering only certain vaccinations to adults, priority is given to diphtheria-tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella and polio vaccinations. Information about the vaccines given to child/adolescent migrants is recorded in 22 countries and to adult migrants in 19 countries with a large variation in recording methods found across countries. Individual and aggregated data are reportedly not shared with other centres/institutions in 13 and 15 countries, respectively. Twenty countries reported not collecting data on vaccination uptake among migrants only three countries have these data at the national level. Procedures to guarantee migrants' access to vaccinations at the community level are available in 13 countries. In conclusion, although diversified, strategies for migrant vaccination are in place in all countries except for one, and the strategies are generally in line with international recommendations. Efforts are needed to strengthen partnerships and implement initiatives across countries of origin, transit and destination to develop and better share documentation in order to guarantee a completion of vaccination series and to avoid unnecessary re-vaccination. Development of migrant-friendly strategies to facilitate migrants' access to vaccination and collection of vaccination uptake data among migrants is needed to meet existing gaps.