Migrants and those displaced by conflict have lower vaccination rates and are especially vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. – VoICE
Key Concept

Key Evidence: Somali refugee children in Kenya were nearly 60 times more likely than children of the main ethnic group in the study (Kikuyu) to not have received any childhood immunization and more than twice as likely to have not completed their vaccinations. Although Somali children made up less than 8% of the sample, they accounted for nearly half of all non-vaccinated children.

From the VoICE Editors: This study used data from Kenya’s Demographic and Health Survey data.

Masters NB, Wagner AL, Carlson BF et al. 2018. Childhood vaccination in Kenya: socioeconomic determinants and disparities among the Somali ethnic community. International Journal of Public Health. 64(3).
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Key Evidence: Girls from refugee families in Denmark were 40-56% less likely to receive HPV vaccine through 2 free-of-charge immunization programs than Danish-born girls, and the differences remained significant when income was taken into account. The odds of being vaccinated were lowest for refugees in the country ≤5 years and those from certain countries or regions, indicating the need to reduce cultural, social, and information barriers to immunization, as well as assess immunization programs across increasingly ethnically diverse societies.

Moller SP, Kristiansen M, Norredam M 2018. Human papillomavirus immunization uptake among girls with a refugee background compared with Danish-born girls: a national register-based cohort study. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 27.
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Key Evidence: Screening tests given to more than 300 newly-arrived economic migrants and asylum seekers in Italy — the majority from sub-Saharan Africa — found high rates of chronic hepatitis B infection and latent and active tuberculosis (with 8% having signs of current infection or active TB). These findings underscore the important of universal screening for infectious diseases for all newly-arrived migrants.

Cuomo G, Franconi I, Riva N et al. 2019. Migration and health: a retrospective study about the prevalence of HBP, HIV, HCV, tuberculosis and syphilis infections amongst newly arrived migrants screened at the Infectious Diseases Unit of Modena, Italy. Journal of Infection and Public Health. 12(2).
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Key Evidence: Antibody screening of asylum seekers arriving in Germany found that few subgroups, such as people from the same country, were sufficiently protected against measles, rubella, and varicella, and that the majority of adolescents and adults would benefit from immunizations. The serology screening results were used to target specific high-risk groups (for example, people from certain countries and age groups) for vaccination as a cost-savings measure, which proved successful in managing varicella outbreaks at refugee reception centers.

Toikkanen SE, Baillot A, Dreesman J, et al. 2016. Seroprevalence of antibodies against measles, rubella, and varicella among asylum seekers arriving in Lower Saxony, Germany, November 2014- October 2015. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 13.
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Key Evidence: Nearly one-third of children and adolescents seeking asylum in Denmark were not adequately vaccinated upon their arrival, with Afghans and Eritreans having the lowest vaccination rates. This points to the need for initiatives targeted to this population to promote immunization and improve access to health services.

Nakken CS, Skovdal M, Nellums LB et al. 2018. Vaccination status and needs to asylum seeking children in Denmark: a retrospective data analysis. Public Health. 158.
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