Current immunization policies for pneumococcal, meningococcal C, varicella and rotavirus vaccinations in Italy

ArticleinHealth Policy 103(2-3):176-83 · December 2011with40 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.91 · DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2011.10.002 · Source: PubMed


    As Italian Regions can implement different policies for immunizations that are not already recommended "across the board" in the country, the present study aimed to describe Regional recommendations and strategies concerning pneumococcal, meningococcal C, varicella and rotavirus vaccines.
    In July 2010, a self-administered cross-sectional questionnaire was mailed to the Regional coordinators for infectious diseases and vaccinations. Data were analysed and compared with the results of previous surveys conducted two and four years before.
    To date, a universal vaccination programme is implemented free of charge in 18 out of 21 Regions (86%) and 17 out of 21 Regions (81%) for pneumococcal and meningococcal C vaccine, respectively. Varicella immunization policies still differ widely among Regions: seven Regions (33%) have adopted a universal free of charge programme, while in the remaining 14 varicella vaccination is offered only to at risk groups. Nine of these Regions also provide immunization to susceptible adolescents. Rotavirus vaccination has not been identified as a priority in Italy, and only 5 Regions have officially introduced it in their schedule.
    Italian Regions are moving towards a common vaccination strategy concerning pneumococcal and meningococcal C vaccine. The debate on a common varicella and rotavirus vaccination strategy is still on-going.