[Centralized immunization schedules and regional equity of access: an audit among Apulian healthcare workers].


The reform of the Vth Title of the Italian Constitution has given the Regions autonomous power over planning of their immunization programme and immunization calendar. This amendment has federalized Italy's vaccination system and, is justified by epidemiological evidence however casts doubt on its provision of equal rights to health care. The objective of this current study is to gain insight into the opinion of vaccine services officers in the Apulia region on federal immunization and the regional immunization programme. Research was conducted using an anonymous standardized questionnaire to which 302 vaccines services staff responded. 67.4% of respondents believe that the current federal vaccination programme should be maintained, whilst 20.2% believe that the current system should be eradicated and 12.4% believe it should be phased out gradually. The current apulian vaccination calendar provides free and active immunizations for all newborns for the pneumococcal, meningitis C, chickenpox and hepatitis A vaccines. The interviewees believe that the vaccinations provided in the regional immunization programme are very important (average importance out of 10 = 6.1/7). The positive response to the regional vaccination plan given by the health officers explains, at least in part, the conservative attitude tewards federal vaccination plans. It cannot be excluded that sacrificing regional autonomy over vaccination programmes might be considered by the vaccination officers as being responsible for the abandonment of the Region's long established immunization practices. The success of these practices is evident in the case of the Region's Hepatitis A immunization programme where the active provision of this vaccine has drastically reduced the endemicity of the illness in Apulia. These experiences of good practice should be adequately considered in before opting to phase out the current immunisation programme.

Cite this paper

@article{Tafuri2009CentralizedIS, title={[Centralized immunization schedules and regional equity of access: an audit among Apulian healthcare workers].}, author={Silvio S T Tafuri and Domenico Martinelli and Giovanni GC Caputi and Francesca Fortunato and Cinzia Annatea Germinario and Rosa Prato}, journal={Annali di igiene : medicina preventiva e di comunità}, year={2009}, volume={21 2}, pages={127-34} }