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Interventions to Improve Vaccination Uptake and Cost Effectiveness of Vaccination Strategies in Newly Arrived Migrants in the EU/EEA: A Systematic Review [Open Access]

Charles Hui 1,,Jessica Dunn 1,Rachael Morton 2,Lukas P. Staub 2,Anh Tran 2,Sally Hargreaves 3,4,Christina Greenaway 5,Beverly Ann Biggs 6,7,Robin Christensen 8 and Kevin Pottie 9,10


Newly arrived migrants to the EU/EEA (arrival within the past five years), as well as other migrant groups in the region, might be under-immunised and lack documentation of previous vaccinations, putting them at increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases circulating in Europe. We therefore performed a systematic review conforming to PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO CRD42016045798) to explore: (i) interventions that improve vaccine uptake among migrants; and (ii) cost-effectiveness of vaccination strategies among this population. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) between 1 January 2006 to 18 June 2018. We included three primary intervention studies performed in the EU/EEA or high-income countries and one cost effectiveness study relevant to vaccinations in migrants. Intervention studies showed small but promising impact only on vaccine uptake with social mobilization/community outreach, planned vaccination programs and education campaigns. Targeting migrants for catch-up vaccination is cost effective for presumptive vaccination for diphtheria, tetanus, and polio, and there was no evidence of benefit of carrying out pre-vaccination serological testing. The cost-effectiveness is sensitive to the seroprevalence and adherence to vaccinations of the migrant. We conclude that scarce but direct EU/EEA data suggest social mobilization, vaccine programs, and education campaigns are promising strategies for migrants, but more research is needed. Research should also study cost effectiveness of strategies. Vaccination of migrants should continue to be a public heath priority in EU/EEA.