(Promoting Migrants’ Vaccination among Migrant Populations in Europe)

Co funded by the DG SANCO Public Health Program 2008-2013

Projekt duration: 36 months

Időtartalma: 22. May 2010. – 21. May 2013.

Leader: Institute of Preventive Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health, Prolepsis - Greece

Introducing the PROMOVAX Project

PROMOVAX is a 3-year project, launched in May 2010 and co-funded by the DG SANCO Public Health Program 2008 – 2013.

The general objective of the PROMOVAX project is to promote immunizations among migrant populations in Europe, contributing to the elimination of vaccine preventable diseases in the region and reducing social inequalities in health.

More specifically, the project aims to:

• identify migrants' immunization needs

• evaluate migrants' access to vaccinations

• record migrant immunization practices, policies and legislations in participating countries and identify gaps

• identify, exchange and disseminate best practices in the field of migrant immunization promotion

• propose recommendations for policymakers and stakehoders aiming to complement EU policies on hard to reach populations

• enhance health care professionals' and other migrant care givers' knowledge on migrants' immunizations needs

• improve migrant populations' knowledge on immunizations and advance their trust in the health system.     

Why such a project?

• The majority of the existing health care services has been developed for the native European populations and is often ill-equipped when it comes to dealing with the needs of other groups, such as migrants.

• Increasing migration to and within Europe has confronted health care systems with new problems of developing accessible, appropriate and good quality services for migrants.

• Lack of immunization in marginalized groups in the WHO European Region poses a threat for outbreaks of contagious diseases, making it a national as well as international public health issue.

• Most of the non-immunized groups belong to hard-to-reach groups that lack access to vaccines and balanced information about the importance of immunization.

• Vaccinations could serve as a vehicle to provide primary care, other preventative and screening services, as well as health education to the migrants.

✓ Immunization of migrants is a high priority issue for the EU health program

within the context of reaching hard to reach populations.

PROMOVAX Target Groups

1. Documented working migrant population (including asylum seekers and refugees), who are legally included / present in the EU workforce market.

2. Health care workers and other care givers providing for migrants in the European countries.

3. Policy makers and stakeholders in an effort to promote immunizations among migrant populations in Europe.

The project is organized in 6 workpackages (WPs) with a total duration of 3 years.

The main partner (PROLEPSIS, Greece) coordinates the operational framework and dissemination of results. Three vertical WPs: "Mapping of EU migrant origin and access to immunizations" (CII - CUT, Cyprus), "Identification, evaluation and exchange of the existing best practices in migrant immunizations" (UP, Hungary) and "Development of health provider toolkits and educational material for migrants" (Prolepsis, Greece) compose the technical base. The project is evaluated during a dedicated WP (SINTEF, Norway).

PROMOVAX Implementation steps

1) Research and Review:

♦ Review of the following:

• Origin and demographic information of migrant populations in each participating country

• Vaccination coverage, and immunization culture and attitudes in majority migrant groups in Europe

• Vaccination coverage and incidence of vaccine preventable diseases in selected migrants' countries of origin

♦ Review of best practices and missed opportunities in the field of migrant immunizations

2) Development of:

♦ Health Provider Toolkit, including step by step guidance and tools to be used when assessing and addressing migrant immunization needs as well as a compilation of resources for healthcare personnel.

♦ Educational Material for Migrants, providing general lay immunization information and addressing misconceptions in order to dispel common vaccination myths. The educational material will be created in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner.