In Italy, national-level immunization polices are included in the National Immunization Prevention Plan (PNPV), whose latest edition - 2017-2019 PNPV- was approved in February 2017. Immunization coverage is a key measure of immunization system performance; it can inform and support national and regional immunization polices’ implementation monitoring, as well as measure the impact of interventions aimed at increase vaccine uptake.
We collected, analysed and critically interpreted 2000-2015 Italian national infant immunization coverage trends, by different vaccine, target population, and by Region. Data were provided by the Directorate General for Prevention of the Italian Ministry of Health.
In 2015, none of mandatory or recommended vaccines reached the 95% national coverage target set in the PNPV. Weighted average national coverage for mandatory vaccines (against polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B) and other antigens included in the hexavalent vaccine (pertussis, and Haemophilus influenzae type b) in 2015 was 93.3%; it was lower for measles, mumps and rubella vaccines (85.2%), pneumococcal (88.7%) and meningococcal C conjugate vaccines (76.6%), with a high degree of heterogeneity by Region. Both hexavalent and MMR vaccines coverage rates have been decreasing since 2012, with an annual decrease of, respectively 1% and 1.5%.
Further efforts are needed to increase vaccine uptake in Italy, to improve data collection and reporting, as well as to fight the growing phenomenon of the vaccine hesitancy so that PNPV objectives and target can be met in the near future.Epi