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Promote Vaccinations among Migrant Populations in Europe [PROMOVAX] [20091109] - Project
General objectives

Promovax’s general objective is to promote immunizations among migrant populations in Europe, thus contributing to the elimination of vaccine preventable diseases in the region & reducing social inequalities in health. It aims to complement EU policies on reaching hard-to-reach populations by adding to the knowledge of migrants` immunization barriers, developing educational material for both health professionals & migrants and by developing recommendations for policy-makers.
It aims to:
Identify & record the immunization needs of migrants
Evaluate migrants’ access to immunization in the EU countries
Analyze the legislative context regarding migrant immunizations in the partner countries
Identify & exchange best practices on migrants` immunization health promotion
Enhance health care professionals’ knowledge on immunization needs of migrants and raise cultural sensitivity among health care professionals providing for migrants
Improve migrants’ understanding & acceptance of immunizations and facilitate their access to immunizations by identifying a network of relevant sites.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

Promovax addresses the strategic objectives of the 2nd Health Program: improve citizens’ health security, develop prevention, exchange knowledge/best practices and disseminate health information. Increasing migration to and within Europe has confronted health care systems with new problems of developing accessible, appropriate and good quality services for migrants. The majority of the existing service provisions has been developed for the native populations and is often ill-equipped when it comes to dealing with the needs of other groups. By promoting migrants’ immunizations, the spread of communicable diseases can be reduced. PROMOVAX will develop educational materials easily transferable and applicable to migrants across the EU. Since migrants’ needs differ significantly depending on immunization policies, incidence of vaccine preventable diseases in their country of origin as well as culture/attitudes towards immunization, major migrant ethnicities are selected and analyzed separately. Research will not only cover receiving EU countries, but migrants’ countries of origin as well.

Methods and means

PROMOVAX methodologies include:
-Extensive literature review regarding migrants’ countries of origin, demographic information, immunization status, incidence of vaccine preventable diseases & attitudes towards vaccinations.
-Mapping of national organizations, NGOs & hospitals that provide immunizations to documented migrants.
-Identification of best practices, legislation & policy through extensive literature review & contact with relevant authorities.
-A methodology in order to address individual migrant immunization needs (depending on factors eg. age, gender, country of origin, occupation, living conditions etc.). The methodology, along with information on how migrants should be approached (eg. in a politically neutral environment) will be included in the health provider toolkit.
-Production of immunization health promotion material for migrants providing general immunization information & addressing misconceptions in order to dispel common vaccination myths.
-A comprehensive dissemination strategy including a website, national workshops, press releases &newsletters.

Expected outcomes period

By targeting health providers caring for migrants, PROMOVAX aims to:
• Provide tools in order to add to the existing knowledge and facilitate migrant immunization needs assessment.
• Raise cultural sensitivity among health care professionals providing for migrants.

By targeting migrants PROMOVAX aims to:
• Promote immunization knowledge and health literacy among migrants.
• Facilitate and increase migrants’ access to general primary care services, other prevention services, including education.
• Facilitate their access to immunizations by identifying a network of immunization sites where migrants can be referred to.
• Reach undocumented migrants through spillover effects (involvement of NGOs, social care workers, migrant press, etc.).

By targeting policy makers PROMOVAX aims to:
• Raise awareness on the importance of migrant immunizations among stakeholders.
• Identify and utilize missed immunization opportunities.
• Apply the identified best practices in promoting migrant immunizations.

Start date: 01/05/2010
End date: 01/05/2013
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 548 680,43