Tackling low vaccine coverage (VC) is a key area for action. Despite efforts, pockets of unvaccinated individuals persist in Europe. People in prison constitute a sizeable fraction of the population, in absolute number and for its rapid turnover. Incarcerated individuals largely belong to socially-deprived communities with low socio-economic status and education level, high disease burden and prevalence of risk behaviours; and often, sub-optimal access to care. Prisons may be a gateway to offer appropriate and high quality healthcare and vaccination services to individuals while in detention.
To respond to this public health priority, the RISE-Vac consortium brings together multisectorial skills, solid experience and well established networks in the prison health field, reflecting epidemiological and structural diversities of European context.
RISE-Vac aims at improving the health of prison population in Europe by promoting vaccine literacy (VL), enhancing vaccine offer and increasing vaccine uptake (VU). Using state-of-the-art methodologies, RISE-Vac will gather existing evidence on vaccination strategies and services targeting people in prison and combine it with prospectively collected data on (i) attitude and VL among prison population and staff; (ii) vaccination status and VU during incarceration. RISE-Vac will use a co-creation approach to develop information and training materials tailored to people in prison and staff to increase their VL. Models of vaccination delivery will be devised and piloted to respond to the needs of prison population, prison settings characteristics and national priorities. Benefits resulting from RISE-Vac activities will accrue also in the general population, increasing overall VC. By upholding the principle that prison health is public health, the RISE-Vac project will provide tools and data-driven, evidence-based options to guide European countries in improving health status of people in prison and European population at large.