Vaccinations in migrants and refugees: a challenge for European health systems. A systematic review of current scientific evidence

Added December 4, 2017

Citation: Mipatrini D., Stefanelli P., Severoni S., et al. Vaccinations in migrants and refugees: a challenge for European health systems. A systematic review of current scientific evidence. Pathogens and Global Health. 2017;111(2):59-68.

Freely available: No

Fifty-eight papers were included in a qualitative synthesis to assess frequency of vaccine preventable diseases, and vaccination coverage among migrants and refugee in Europe. Results found that migrants and refugees have lower immunization rates than European-born population.

Studies have shown that countries of origin of migrants and refugees have decreased immunization rates. A qualitative systematic review was performed to assess frequency of vaccine preventable diseases, as well as vaccine coverage, among migrants and refugees in Europe. Fifty-eight papers were obtained from Medline and Cochrane databases. The analyzed diseases included hepatitis B measles, rubella, mumps, tetanus, poliomyelitis, pertussis, diphtheria, meningitis, and varicella. While there was inadequate data for several of the analyzed diseases, several studies concluded that migrants and refugees have lower immunization rates. Reasons for lower immunization rates include to low vaccine coverage in the country of origin, constant migration preventing multiple doses, lack of patient registration, and lack of coordination of public health authorities. The authors recommend increased follow-up of vaccination status upon entry to Europe.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the health of refugees and asylum seekers but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the health of refugees and asylum seekers on the basis of this summary alone.

 

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