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3.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795983

ABSTRACT

Understanding why some migrants in Europe are at risk of underimmunisation and show lower vaccination uptake for routine and COVID-19 vaccines is critical if we are to address vaccination inequities and meet the goals of WHO's new Immunisation Agenda 2030. We did a systematic review (PROSPERO: CRD42020219214) exploring barriers and facilitators of vaccine uptake (categorised using the 5As taxonomy: access, awareness, affordability, acceptance, activation) and sociodemographic determinants of undervaccination among migrants in the EU and European Economic Area, the UK, and Switzerland. We searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO from 2000 to 2021 for primary research, with no restrictions on language. 5259 data sources were screened, with 67 studies included from 16 countries, representing 366 529 migrants. We identified multiple access barriers-including language, literacy, and communication barriers, practical and legal barriers to accessing and delivering vaccination services, and service barriers such as lack of specific guidelines and knowledge of health-care professionals-for key vaccines including measles-mumps-rubella, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus, human papillomavirus, influenza, polio, and COVID-19 vaccines. Acceptance barriers were mostly reported in eastern European and Muslim migrants for human papillomavirus, measles, and influenza vaccines. We identified 23 significant determinants of undervaccination in migrants (p<0·05), including African origin, recent migration, and being a refugee or asylum seeker. We did not identify a strong overall association with gender or age. Tailored vaccination messaging, community outreach, and behavioural nudges facilitated uptake. Migrants' barriers to accessing health care are already well documented, and this Review confirms their role in limiting vaccine uptake. These findings hold immediate relevance to strengthening vaccination programmes in high-income countries, including for COVID-19, and suggest that tailored, culturally sensitive, and evidence-informed strategies, unambiguous public health messaging, and health system strengthening are needed to address access and acceptance barriers to vaccination in migrants and create opportunities and pathways for offering catch-up vaccinations to migrants.

4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330093

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted shortfalls in the delivery of vaccine programmes to some adult migrant groups;however, little is known around care pathways and engagement of these older cohorts in routine vaccinations in primary care, including catch-up programmes. Guidelines exist, but the extent to which they are put into practice and prioritised is unclear. Objectives To explore the views of primary care professionals around barriers and facilitators to catch-up vaccination in adult migrants (defined as foreign born;over 18 years) with incomplete or uncertain vaccination status and for routine vaccines to inform development of future interventions to improve vaccine uptake in this group and improve coverage. Design Qualitative interview study with purposive sampling and thematic analysis Setting UK primary care, 50 included practices. Participants 64 primary care professionals (PCPs): 48 clinical including GPs, Practice Nurses and healthcare assistants (HCAs);16 administrative staff including practice managers and receptionists (mean age 45 years;84.4% female;a range of ethnicities). Results Participants highlighted direct and indirect barriers to catch-up vaccines in adult migrants who may have missed vaccines as children, missed boosters, and not be aligned with the UK’s vaccine schedule, from both a personal and service-delivery level, with themes including: lack of training and knowledge of guidance around catch-up vaccination among staff;unclear or incomplete vaccine records;and lack of incentivization (including financial reimbursement) and dedicated time and care pathways. Adult migrants were reported as being excluded from many vaccination initiatives, most of which focus exclusively on children. Where delivery models existed they were diverse and fragmented but included a combination of opportunistic and proactive programmes. PCPs noted that migrants expressed to them a range of views around vaccines, from positivity to uncertainty, to refusal, with specific nationality groups reported as more hesitant to get vaccinated with specific vaccines, including MMR. Conclusions WHO’s new Immunization Agenda (IA2030) has called for greater focus to be placed on delivering vaccination across the life-course, targeting under-immunised groups for catch-up vaccination at any age, with UK primary care services therefore having a key role to play. Vaccine uptake in adult migrants could be improved through implementing new financial incentives or inclusion of adult migrant vaccination targets in QOF, strengthening care pathways and training, and working directly with local community groups to improve understanding around the benefits of vaccination at all ages.

5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327516

ABSTRACT

Objective To determine the extent and nature of social media use in migrant and ethnic minority communities for COVID-19 information, and implications for preventative health measures including vaccination intent and uptake. Design A systematic review of published and grey literature following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines Eligibility Criteria for study selection Global research reporting the use of social media by migrants and/or ethnic minority groups in relation to COVID-19. Data extraction We extracted data on key outcomes, study design, country, population under study, and sample size. Results 1849 unique records were screened, and 21 data sources included in our analysis involving migrant and ethnic minority populations in the UK, US, China, Jordan, Qatar, and Turkey. We found evidence of consistent use of a range of social media platforms for COVID-19 information in some migrant and ethnic minority populations (including WeChat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube), which may stem from difficulty in accessing COVID-19 information in their native languages or from trusted sources. There were positive and negative associations with social media use reported, with some evidence suggesting circulating misinformation and social media use may be associated with lower participation in preventative health measures, including vaccine intent and uptake, findings of which are likely relevant to multiple population groups. Conclusions Social media platforms are an important source of information about COVID-19 for some migrant and ethnic minority populations. Urgent actions and further research are now needed to better understand the use of social media platforms for accessing health information by different population groups – particularly groups who are marginalised from health systems – effective approaches to tackling circulating misinformation, and to seize on opportunities to make better use of social media platforms to support public health communication and improve vaccine uptake. Registration This study has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021259190).

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314398

ABSTRACT

Background: Migrants globally have experienced adverse clinical and socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For approximately 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Reception and Identification Centres (RICs) and Reception Sites (RS) in Greece, living in severely substandard living conditions, prevention measures have been impossible with limited provision in terms of routine testing, surveillance, and access to healthcare. These migrant populations have experienced prolonged lockdowns and restricted movement since the pandemic began. We aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on migrants residing in reception facilities in Greece and explore implications for policy and practice. Methods: A retrospective analysis of policy documents and national surveillance data was conducted to identify COVID-19 outbreaks and estimate incidence among asylum seekers and refugees residing in these camps during the first 9 months of the epidemic in Greece (26th Feb - 15th Nov 2020). Incidence proportion (IP) of COVID-19 confirmed cases was calculated for three population groups (migrant populations in RICs, migrant populations in RSs, and the general population in Greece) during three time periods (first wave, second wave, and overall across the 9-month period). Findings: Twenty-five COVID-19 outbreaks were identified in migrant reception facilities, with 6 (85.7%) of 7 RICs and 18 (56.3%) of 32 RSs reporting at least one outbreak during the study period. The overall 9-month COVID-19 IP among refugee and asylum seeker populations residing in RSs on the Greek mainland was 1,758 cases per 100,000 population;in RICs the incidence was 2,052 cases per 100,000 population. Compared to the general population the risk of COVID-19 infection among migrants in reception facilities was 2.5 to 3 times higher;the risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection was higher among migrant populations in RSs on the Greek mainland (IP ratio: 2.45;95% CI: 2.25-2.68) but higher still among migrant populations in RICs in the Greek islands and the land border with Turkey (IP ratio: 2.86;95% CI: 2.64-3.10), where living conditions are particularly poor. Interpretation: We identified high levels of COVID-19 transmission among migrants in reception facilities in Greece. The risk of infection among these enclosed population groups has been significantly higher than the general population of Greece, and risk increases as living conditions deteriorate. These data have immediate implications for policy and practice. Strategies are now needed to ensure refugee and asylum seeker populations are included in national response plans to reduce transmission in at-risk groups for COVID-19, alongside inclusion in plans for COVID-19 vaccine roll out. Funding: No funding was received for this piece of research.Declaration of Interests: MO is Executive Director of Lancet Migration: global collaboration to advance migration health. All other authors declare no conflicts of interest.Ethics Approval Statement: No ethics approval was required, as al the data sources are anonymous and freely available online.

7.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294814

ABSTRACT

We conducted a serosurvey in 2020, amongst 149 adult migrants living in the United Kingdom, to determine seroprotection rates for measles, varicella zoster, and rubella. Findings suggest a gap in seroprotection against measles (89.3%). Younger migrants and those from Europe and Central Asia may be more susceptible;self-reported vaccine/disease status is a poor predictor of seroprotection. Understanding factors associated with seroprotection among migrants is critical for informing the delivery of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

8.
Eur J Public Health ; 31(Supplement_4): iv9-iv13, 2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506262

ABSTRACT

Studies from several countries have shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally affected migrants. Many have numerous risk factors making them vulnerable to infection and poor clinical outcome. Policies to mitigate this effect need to take into account public health principles of inclusion, universal health coverage and the right to health. In addition, the migrant health agenda has been compromised by the suspension of asylum processes and resettlement, border closures, increased deportations and lockdown of camps and excessively restrictive public health measures. International organizations including the World Health Organization and the World Bank have recommended measures to actively counter racism, xenophobia and discrimination by systemically including migrants in the COVID-19 pandemic response. Such recommendations include issuing additional support, targeted communication and reducing barriers to accessing health services and information. Some countries have had specific policies and outreach to migrant groups, including facilitating vaccination. Measures and policies targeting migrants should be evaluated, and good models disseminated widely.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vulnerable Populations
9.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(12): e387-e398, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458583

ABSTRACT

Migrant populations are one of several underimmunised groups in the EU or European Economic Area (EU/EEA), yet little is known about their involvement in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. This information is vital to develop targeted strategies to improve the health of diverse migrant communities. We did a systematic review (PROSPERO CRD42019157473; Jan 1, 2000, to May 22, 2020) adhering to PRISMA guidelines, to identify studies on vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks (measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, hepatitis A, varicella, Neisseria meningitidis, and Haemophilus influenzae) involving migrants residing in the EU/EEA and Switzerland. We identified 45 studies, reporting on 47 distinct vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks across 13 countries. Most reported outbreaks involving migrants were of measles (n=24; 6496 cases), followed by varicella (n=11; 505 cases), hepatitis A (n=7; 1356 cases), rubella (n=3; 487 cases), and mumps (n=2; 293 cases). 19 (40%) outbreaks, predominantly varicella and measles, were reported in temporary refugee camps or shelters. Of 11 varicella outbreaks, nine (82%) were associated with adult migrants. Half of measles outbreaks (n=11) were associated with migrants from eastern European countries. In conclusion, migrants are involved in vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in Europe, with adult and child refugees residing in shelters or temporary camps at particular risk, alongside specific nationality groups. Vulnerability varies by disease, setting, and demographics, highlighting the importance of tailoring catch-up vaccination interventions to specific groups in order to meet regional and global vaccination targets as recommended by the new Immunisation Agenda 2030 framework for action. A better understanding of vaccine access and intent in migrant groups and a greater focus on co-designing interventions is urgently needed, with direct implications for COVID-19 vaccine delivery.


Subject(s)
Disease Outbreaks , Transients and Migrants , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/epidemiology , Adult , Child , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Immunization Programs , Refugee Camps , Refugees , Vaccination , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/prevention & control
10.
Br J Gen Pract ; 71(709): e583-e595, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359304

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has led to big changes in UK primary care, including rapid digitalisation, with unknown impact on migrant groups. AIM: To understand the pandemic's impact on recently-arrived migrants and their access to primary health care, and implications for vaccine roll-out. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with primary care professionals (PCPs) and migrants in urban, suburban, and rural settings across England. METHOD: Sixty-four PCPs and administrative staff, and 17 recently-arrived migrants were recruited using purposive, convenience, and snowball sampling. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone. Data were analysed iteratively, informed by thematic analysis. RESULTS: PCPs and migrants concurred that digitalisation and virtual consultations have amplified existing inequalities in access to health care for many migrants, due to a lack of digital literacy and access to technology, compounded by language barriers. PCPs were concerned that virtual consultations resulted in difficulties building trust and risked missing safeguarding cues. Both PCPs and migrants highlighted challenges around registering and accessing health care due to physical closure of surgeries, as well as indirect discrimination, language and communication barriers, and a lack of access to targeted and tailored COVID-19 information or interventions. Migrants reported a range of specific beliefs, from acceptance to mistrust, around COVID-19 and potential COVID-19 vaccines, often influenced by misinformation. Innovative opportunities were suggested, including translated digital health advice using text templates and YouTube; these merit further exploration. CONCLUSION: Pandemic-related changes to primary care delivery may become permanent; some migrant groups are at risk of digital exclusion and may need targeted additional support to access services. Solutions are needed to address vaccine hesitancy in marginalised groups to ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccine uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , COVID-19 Vaccines , England , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Primary Health Care , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Lancet ; 398(10296): 211-212, 2021 07 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313502
14.
EClinicalMedicine ; 37: 100958, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293746

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Migrants globally, including refugees and asylum seekers, have experienced adverse clinical and socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For approximately 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Reception and Identification Centers (RICs) and Reception Sites (RS) in Greece, living in severely substandard living conditions, prevention measures have been impossible with limited provision in terms of routine testing, surveillance, and access to healthcare. These migrant populations have experienced prolonged lockdowns and restricted movement since the pandemic began. We aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and asylum seekers in reception facilities in Greece and explore implications for policy and practice. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of policy documents and national surveillance data was conducted to identify COVID-19 outbreaks and estimate incidence among asylum seekers and refugees residing in these camps during the first 9 months of the epidemic in Greece (26th February - 15th November 2020). Incidence proportion (IP) of COVID-19 confirmed cases was calculated for three population groups (refugees and asylum seekers in RICs, refugees and asylum seekers in RSs, and the general population in Greece) during three time periods (first wave, second wave, and overall across the 9-month period). FINDINGS: Twenty-five COVID-19 outbreaks were identified in refugee and asylum seeker reception facilities, with 6 (85.7%) of 7 RICs and 18 (56.3%) of 32 RSs reporting at least one outbreak during the study period. The overall 9-month COVID-19 IP among refugee and asylum seeker populations residing in RSs on the Greek mainland was 1758 cases per 100,000 population; in RICs the incidence was 2052 cases per 100,000 population. Compared to the general population the risk of COVID-19 infection among refugees and asylum seekers in reception facilities was 2.5 to 3 times higher (p-value<0.001). The risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection was higher among refugee and asylum seeker populations in RSs on the Greek mainland (IP ratio: 2.45; 95% CI: 2.25-2.68) but higher still among refugee and asylum seeker populations in RICs in the Greek islands and the land border with Turkey (IP ratio: 2.86; 95% CI: 2.64-3.10), where living conditions are particularly poor. INTERPRETATION: We identified high levels of COVID-19 transmission among refugees and asylum seekers in reception facilities in Greece. The risk of COVID-19 infection among these enclosed population groups has been significantly higher than the general population of Greece, and risk increases as living conditions deteriorate. These data have immediate implications for policy and practice. Strategies are now needed to ensure refugee and asylum seeker populations are included in national response plans to reduce transmission in at-risk groups for COVID-19, alongside inclusion in plans for COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

18.
J Migr Health ; 4: 100050, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244770

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Early evidence confirms lower COVID-19 vaccine uptake in established ethnic minority populations, yet there has been little focus on understanding vaccine hesitancy and barriers to vaccination in migrants. Growing populations of precarious migrants (including undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugees) in the UK and Europe are considered to be under-immunised groups and may be excluded from health systems, yet little is known about their views on COVID-19 vaccines specifically, which are essential to identify key solutions and action points to strengthen vaccine roll-out. METHODS: We did an in-depth semi-structured qualitative interview study of recently arrived migrants (foreign-born, >18 years old; <10 years in the UK) to the UK with precarious immigration status between September 2020 and March 2021, seeking their input into strategies to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine delivery and uptake. We used the 'Three Cs' model (confidence, complacency and convenience) to explore COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, barriers and access. Data were analysed using a thematic framework approach. Data collection continued until data saturation was reached, and no novel concepts were arising. The study was approved by the University of London ethics committee (REC 2020.00630). RESULTS: We approached 20 migrant support groups nationwide, recruiting 32 migrants (mean age 37.1 years; 21 [66%] female; mean time in the UK 5.6 years [SD 3.7 years]), including refugees (n = 3), asylum seekers (n = 19), undocumented migrants (n = 8) and migrants with limited leave to remain (n = 2) from 15 different countries (5 WHO regions). 23 (72%) of 32 migrants reported being hesitant about accepting a COVID-19 vaccine and two (6%) would definitely not accept a vaccine. Participants communicated concerns over vaccine content, side-effects, lack of accessible information in an appropriate language, lack of trust in the health system and low perceived need. A range of barriers to accessing the COVID-19 vaccine were reported and concerns expressed that their communities would be excluded from or de-prioritised in the roll-out. Undocumented migrants described fears over being charged and facing immigration checks if they present for a vaccine. Participants (n = 10) interviewed after recent government announcements that COVID-19 vaccines can be accessed without facing immigration checks remained unaware of this. Participants stated that convenience of access would be a key factor in their decision around whether to accept a vaccine and proposed alternative access points to primary care services (for example, walk-in centres in trusted places such as foodbanks, community centres and charities), alongside promoting registration with primary care for all, and working closely with communities to produce accessible information on COVID-19 vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: Precarious migrants may be hesitant about accepting a COVID-19 vaccine and face multiple and unique barriers to access, requiring simple but innovative solutions to ensure equitable access and uptake. Vaccine hesitancy and low awareness around entitlement and relevant access points could be easily addressed with clear, accessible, and tailored information campaigns, co-produced and delivered by trusted sources within marginalised migrant communities. These findings have immediate relevance to the COVID-19 vaccination initiatives in the UK and in other European and high-income countries with diverse migrant populations. FUNDING: NIHR.

19.
J Migr Health ; 3: 100041, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198907

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Migrants in high-income countries may be at increased risk of COVID-19 due to their health and social circumstances, yet the extent to which they are affected and their predisposing risk factors are not clearly understood. We did a systematic review to assess clinical outcomes of COVID-19 in migrant populations, indirect health and social impacts, and to determine key risk factors. METHODS: We did a systematic review following PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO CRD42020222135). We searched multiple databases to 18/11/2020 for peer-reviewed and grey literature on migrants (foreign-born) and COVID-19 in 82 high-income countries. We used our international networks to source national datasets and grey literature. Data were extracted on primary outcomes (cases, hospitalisations, deaths) and we evaluated secondary outcomes on indirect health and social impacts and risk factors using narrative synthesis. RESULTS: 3016 data sources were screened with 158 from 15 countries included in the analysis (35 data sources for primary outcomes: cases [21], hospitalisations [4]; deaths [15]; 123 for secondary outcomes). We found that migrants are at increased risk of infection and are disproportionately represented among COVID-19 cases. Available datasets suggest a similarly disproportionate representation of migrants in reported COVID-19 deaths, as well as increased all-cause mortality in migrants in some countries in 2020. Undocumented migrants, migrant health and care workers, and migrants housed in camps have been especially affected. Migrants experience risk factors including high-risk occupations, overcrowded accommodation, and barriers to healthcare including inadequate information, language barriers, and reduced entitlement. CONCLUSIONS: Migrants in high-income countries are at high risk of exposure to, and infection with, COVID-19. These data are of immediate relevance to national public health and policy responses to the pandemic. Robust data on testing uptake and clinical outcomes in migrants, and barriers and facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination, are urgently needed, alongside strengthening engagement with diverse migrant groups.

20.
Br J Gen Pract ; 71(709): e583-e595, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has led to big changes in UK primary care, including rapid digitalisation, with unknown impact on migrant groups. AIM: To understand the pandemic's impact on recently-arrived migrants and their access to primary health care, and implications for vaccine roll-out. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with primary care professionals (PCPs) and migrants in urban, suburban, and rural settings across England. METHOD: Sixty-four PCPs and administrative staff, and 17 recently-arrived migrants were recruited using purposive, convenience, and snowball sampling. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone. Data were analysed iteratively, informed by thematic analysis. RESULTS: PCPs and migrants concurred that digitalisation and virtual consultations have amplified existing inequalities in access to health care for many migrants, due to a lack of digital literacy and access to technology, compounded by language barriers. PCPs were concerned that virtual consultations resulted in difficulties building trust and risked missing safeguarding cues. Both PCPs and migrants highlighted challenges around registering and accessing health care due to physical closure of surgeries, as well as indirect discrimination, language and communication barriers, and a lack of access to targeted and tailored COVID-19 information or interventions. Migrants reported a range of specific beliefs, from acceptance to mistrust, around COVID-19 and potential COVID-19 vaccines, often influenced by misinformation. Innovative opportunities were suggested, including translated digital health advice using text templates and YouTube; these merit further exploration. CONCLUSION: Pandemic-related changes to primary care delivery may become permanent; some migrant groups are at risk of digital exclusion and may need targeted additional support to access services. Solutions are needed to address vaccine hesitancy in marginalised groups to ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccine uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , COVID-19 Vaccines , England , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Primary Health Care , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
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