Access to Vaccination among Disadvantaged, Isolated and Difficult-to-Reach Communities in the WHO European Region: A Systematic Review

For the ImmuHubs Consortium

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23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vaccination has a significant impact on morbidity and mortality. High vaccination coverage rates are required to achieve herd protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. However, limited vaccine access and hesitancy among specific communities represent significant obstacles to this goal. This review provides an overview of critical factors associated with vaccination among disadvantaged groups in World Health Organisation European countries. Initial searches yielded 18,109 publications from four databases, and 104 studies from 19 out of 53 countries reporting 22 vaccine-preventable diseases were included. Nine groups representing the populations of interest were identified, and most of the studies focused on asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and deprived communities. Recall of previous vaccinations received was poor, and serology was conducted in some cases to confirm protection for those who received prior vaccinations. Vaccination coverage was lower among study populations compared to the general population or national average. Factors that influenced uptake, which presented differently at different population levels, included health service accessibility, language and vaccine literacy, including risk perception, disease severity and vaccination benefits. Strategies that could be implemented in vaccination policy and programs were also identified. Overall, interventions specific to target communities are vital to improving uptake. More innovative strategies need to be deployed to improve vaccination coverage among disadvantaged groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1038
JournalVaccines
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Europe
  • disadvantaged groups
  • health services
  • immunisation programs
  • inequalities
  • migration
  • vaccination

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