Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Vaccination Coverage Increase among Adolescent and Young Adults of the Palermo District (Italy) as a Result of a Public Health Strategy to Contrast an “Epidemic of Panic”

Version 1 : Received: 26 February 2018 / Approved: 28 February 2018 / Online: 28 February 2018 (09:51:03 CET)

How to cite: Costantino, C.; Restivo, V.; Ventura, G.; D'Angelo, C.; Randazzo, M.A.; Casuccio, N.; Palermo, M.; Casuccio, A.; Vitale, F. Vaccination Coverage Increase among Adolescent and Young Adults of the Palermo District (Italy) as a Result of a Public Health Strategy to Contrast an “Epidemic of Panic”. Preprints 2018, 2018020191 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0191.v1). Costantino, C.; Restivo, V.; Ventura, G.; D'Angelo, C.; Randazzo, M.A.; Casuccio, N.; Palermo, M.; Casuccio, A.; Vitale, F. Vaccination Coverage Increase among Adolescent and Young Adults of the Palermo District (Italy) as a Result of a Public Health Strategy to Contrast an “Epidemic of Panic”. Preprints 2018, 2018020191 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0191.v1).

Abstract

During summer 2016 in the District of Palermo, Italy, the rapid succession of four cases of invasive meningococcal disease among young adults, with one death, have had an extraordinary emphasis by Local and National mass media. The resultant “epidemic of panic” among general population overloaded vaccination Units of the Palermo District during following months. Strategies implemented by Sicilian and Local Public Health Authorities to counteract “meningitis fear” were: a) extension of active and free of charge anti-meningococcal tetravalent vaccination from age class 12–18 to 12–30 years old; b) implementation of vaccination units usual opening hours and rooms tailored for vaccine administration; c) development of informative institutional tools and timely communications throughout local mass media to reassure general population. In 2016, was observed an increase of anti-meningococcal coverage in Palermo District (+18% for 16th y.o. and + 14% for 18th y.o. cohorts) and at Regional Level (+11.2% and +13.5% respectively). Concurrent catch-up of other recommended vaccination for age (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-poliomyelitis and papillomavirus), resulted in further increase of doses administered. The fear for meningitis, managed by Sicilian Public Health Authorities, had positive reverberations in terms of prevention. In particular, informative strategies adopted sensibly contributed to get Sicilian young adults closer to vaccination issues.

Subject Areas

meningitis; vaccination campaign; mass media; outbreak

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