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Vaccine ; 39(8): 1183-1186, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1080824


The Vaccination Calendar for Life is an alliance of scientific and professional societies of public health physicians, paediatricians and general practitioners in Italy which provides a periodical update on the ideal, scientifically driven vaccination calendar throughout lifetime. Since 2012, the Lifetime Immunization Schedule has represented a benchmark for Regional and National Authorities to set up the updated list of vaccines provided actively and free of charge to infants, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly by inclusion in the Triennial National Vaccination Plan (TNVP), and in the Essential Levels of Care (LEA). The impact of the different editions of the Lifetime Immunization Schedule on the TNVP was deep, representing the inspiring source for the present vaccination policy. The 2019 edition called for more attention to pregnant women immunization; risk groups vaccination; uniform high coverage with the MMRV vaccine; extension of Meningococcal B vaccination also at adolescent age; use of quadrivalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine also at 1 year of life; progressive decrease of the age of free-of-charge offer of influenza to ≥ 60 and then to ≥ 50 year-old population; implementation of flu immunization ages 6 months-6 years; HPV vaccination also offered to 25-year old women at the time of the first screening (gender neutral immunization already offered); sequential PCV13-PPV23 pneumococcal vaccination in 65 year-old subjects; increased coverage with rotavirus vaccine in infants and zoster vaccine in the elderly.

Meningococcal Vaccines , Vaccination , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Immunization Schedule , Infant , Italy , Middle Aged , Pregnancy
Vaccine ; 39(8): 1187-1189, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-971600


The Board of the Vaccination Calendar for Life (Bonanni et al., 2014, 2017) [1,2]), a coalition of four major scientific and professional societies of public health physicians, pediatricians and general practitioners in Italy, made an appeal to health authorities in order to sustain vaccination in COVID-19 times. The five pillars to maintain and increase vaccination coverage at all ages are described as follows: 1) Guarantee paediatric vaccination coverage to all newborns and paediatric boosters and adolescent immunizations, not interrupting active calls and scheduled sessions. 2) Re-organise the way paediatric and adolescent vaccinations are offered. 3) Set-up recovery programs for vaccinations not carried out after the start of the COVID-19 emergency. 4) Provide the preparation of tenders for the supply of flu vaccines with suitable quantities to increase coverage in all Regions and Autonomous Provinces with extreme urgency. 5) Prepare plans to increase coverage for influenza, pneumococcal, tetanus diphtheria and shingles. The Board of the Calendar for Life appeals to the National and Local Health Authorities for a strong and coordinated commitment in favor of the widest offer and acceptance of vaccinations, whose vital importance for collective health is now even more evident to all, in order to avoid that delays in the necessary initiatives should add damage from other epidemics to those suffered by our population due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Pandemics , Vaccination Coverage , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Child , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control
J Prev Med Hyg ; 61(2): E125-E129, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721658


INTRODUCTION: The global COVID-19 pandemic is placing a heavy burden on health services. One result could be a general reduction in routine vaccination activities. In Tuscany (Central Italy), paediatricians (in agreement with the regional health service) administer and register paediatric vaccinations of their patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on paediatric vaccinations administered by Tuscan paediatricians, as a proxy of adherence to vaccinations during this epidemic period. METHODS: Four hundred members of the Tuscany section of the Italian Federation of Paediatricians (FIMP) were invited to participate in a semi-structured online survey. RESULTS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all (98.2%) of the 223 respondents reported a general decline in outpatient paediatric visits; 65.8% reported a more than 60% reduction (144 answers) in comparison with the situation before the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 208 paediatricians (93.3%) continued to vaccinate in the period considered: 66/208 (31.7%) reported a reduction in parents' compliance with mandatory vaccination (hexavalent and MMRV vaccines), and 88/208 (42.3%) reported a reduction in compliance with non-mandatory vaccinations. Almost all paediatricians declared having taken preventive actions to counter the spread of SARS-CoV-2. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Although the majority of Tuscan paediatricians continued to vaccinate during the lock-down, some parents decided to postpone their children's scheduled vaccinations, mainly owing to fears concerning the safety of access to health services. When Italian immunization coverage data on the first months of 2020 become available, it will be possible to assess the real impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on paediatric vaccinations. It is crucial to continue vaccinating against preventable infectious diseases in order to avoid other possible epidemic outbreaks. The pandemic must not be seen as an obstacle to compliance with the vaccination schedule, but rather as an excellent opportunity to underline the importance of all recommended vaccinations.

Attitude of Health Personnel , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Immunization Schedule , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Child , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Pandemics , Pediatricians/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires