Insights and expectations of health care professionals on the implementation of the new pediatric Regional Immunization Calendar in Calabria, Italy
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Provincial Health Agency, Reggio Calabria, Italy
Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A2053
Background and Objectives: The recently updated official immunization calendar of the Calabria Region includes, for the first time in Italy, the facultative opportunity of administering hexavalent, conjugate pneumococcal, 4 components meningococcal B (4CMenB) and rotavirus vaccines at the same visits of 3° and 5° months of age (1st y) and measles-mumps-rubella-varicella, meningococcal ACWY125 and 4CMenB vaccines at the same visit of 13°-15° months of age (2nd y). This innovative schedule is intended to generate advantages for vaccinees and their caregivers, healthcare providers and the regional healthcare system. To design supportive interventions for the new Calendar implementation, insights and expectations of health professionals were investigated. Methods: A 11- questions online survey dealing with the new pediatric calendar feasibility was administered to Public Health providers (PH) and Family Pediatricians (FP). Afterwards, remote Focus Group meetings were carried out to explore in depth the major survey Findings. Results: A total of 132 questionnaire (86 PH and 46 FP) were collected representing 22% of the PH+FP regional population. Overall, most of responses were in favor of the co-administration concept, recognizing the benefits generated for vaccinees/caregivers and Public Health organization. Among coadministrations, the most voted items concerned sharing of safety data, take into consideration the caregiver expectations and release of local recommendations on the use of paracetamol. Regional/local CME events were the preferred educational frames. Both FP and PH specific Focus Groups generated in depth insights complementing the survey results. In the Reggio Calabria district, among 1500 1st y + 2nd y vaccinations carried out in 2022, 1200 (80%) turned out to be in the new co-administration schedule. Conclusions: Insights and expectations of both FP and PH collected in the survey and by Focus Groups proved to be very useful to design an engagement program to support the implementation of the new Calendar.
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