Childhood vaccination: regional coverage still inadequate

Vaccination coverage rates are the best indicator of vaccination strategies as they provide information about actual implementation in the area and the informed adherence of citizens to vaccination programs. The Epidemiological Observatory of the Regional Health Department has reported on childhood vaccination coverage at 24 months of life for the year 2018 (cohort 2016) for the Region of Sardinia.

Although vaccination is unequivocally and undisputedly considered the most exceptional discovery in terms of infectious disease prevention, from 2013 to 2016 vaccination coverage showed a significant decrease in Italy, reaching percentages that were dramatically lower than the 95% coverage strongly recommended by WHO - World Health Organization. Against this background, the Epidemiological Observatory of the Regional Health Department periodically reports on vaccination coverage in childhood to emphasise the substantial need to increase the population's adherence to vaccination programmes.

In this news item, we are publishing the most recent data relating to the year 2018 (cohort 2016 to 24 months). For the 4 compulsory vaccinations (Polio, Diphtheria, Tetanus, and HBV) and for the other two carried in the same hexavalent vaccine (Pertussis and HIB), coverage exceeds the threshold of 95% (95.19%). As regards MMR vaccination, coverage is 92.33%, and it is interesting to highlight the ‘pull effect’ on the more recently introduced and strongly recommended anti-Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, which, although not yet mandatory for those born before 2017, increased from 77.91% in 2017 (cohort 2015) to 81.16% in 2018 (cohort 2016). As regards the other two vaccinations recommended in childhood (Meningococcus C and Pneumococcus), percentages of 85.49% and 93.93% are respectively observed.

Highlighting the need to focus attention on the importance of the communication needs essential for an adequate vaccination offer, under the patronage of the Department of Hygiene, Health and Social Assistance and of the Health Protection Agency (ATS), and with the collaboration of the UNISS and UNICA Specialisation Schools in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, is working on implementing the second part of the Regional Communication Campaign targeting Childhood and Adolescence. This planning takes into account the fact that awareness-raising and dialogue programmes structured with and for the region’s citizens are a fundamental support, for the age groups concerned, in the move towards a more resolute and conscious adherence to vaccination.
Fig.1: Childhood vaccination coverage. 2018 (cohort 2016)
Fig.1: Childhood vaccination coverage. 2018 (cohort 2016)
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