At the start of the administration of mandatory and recommended vaccines in pediatric studies in Calabria. The first to go are the family pediatricians of the Asp of Crotone who, on a voluntary basis, in collaboration with the Prevention Department, will administer all the vaccinations provided for by the National Vaccine Prevention Plan and the vaccination calendar of the Region. The initiative is the result of meetings and evaluations between the Crotone prevention department and the Fimp (Italian Federation of pediatricians) which in Crotone represents 100% of family pediatricians. A need that is all the more felt in an era of health emergency like the one we are experiencing.
“The paradox of the pandemic was precisely that, while everyone hoped for a vaccine to stem the social and health consequences of the covid – said to Adnkronos Martino Barretta, Fimp Crotone provincial secretary and member of the Fimp National Secretariat – routine vaccinations were interrupted, delayed, if not suspended. According to a survey by the Ministry of Health, most (96.9%) of the ASPs declared a reduction in immunization practices, 28% suspended their vaccination activity. The reasons can be traced back to fears of parents of contracting SARS-COV-2 viruses in vaccination centers, to policies to block movements, to the use of health workers in vaccination centers for other tasks. The active role of family pediatricians, through the fiduciary relationship with the families, their widespread presence on the territory and the possibility of administering vaccines at every visit, as also indicated by the WHO, will favor the recovery of vaccination delays and avoid the possibility of the reappearance of serious diseases, which have disappeared thanks to the presence of vaccines. “
Pediatricians, in fact, according to the provisions of National and Regional agreements, carry out filter visits for all children in certain age groups, to check the overall health of the children. “In Calabria there are 9 health reports distributed by age group – continues Barretta – and these visits represent opportunities for promotion but also for the administration of vaccines on schedule. It is the WHO itself that indicates these filter visits as opportunities not to be missed for immunization; in addition, another objective of our project is achieved: that of reducing the mobility of people during the pandemic. In practice, during the health assessment, the pediatrician checks the vaccination status of the child, and if the child needs to be vaccinated he does not limit himself to indicating another facility and another day, but after informing the parents he takes the vaccine from the fridge and administers it, with all the advantages that this entails for the child and the family. “
Among the main objectives of the agreement, the achievement of the coverage objectives envisaged by the National Vaccines Plan. “The recovery of children who have not completed the scheduled vaccination schedule – adds the expert – is another objective envisaged by the agreement and this must take place with an active call with messaging through the study management systems or with a direct telephone call which can also represent a first approach to answer any doubts about vaccination. “
The agreement, in addition to the administration, provides that the pediatrician provides all the information requested by the parents on known advantages and adverse events, any motivational interviews to understand the doubts of the hesitant towards vaccinations, favoring, however, a relationship of collaboration and trust for a conscious choice. This is followed by the acquisition of informed consent.
“After the administration, the vaccination carried out must be noted in the vaccination booklet, the data of the patient and the vaccine administered must be communicated to the ASP, for subsequent registration on the software of the vaccine registry of the Calabria Region. The procedures for enabling vaccination pediatricians to access the computerized registry are being tested and, shortly, this registration activity will be able to be performed directly by the pediatrician in his clinic. Finally, a fundamental piece is foreseen in the 2021 budget: an increase in the fund to equip the family pediatrician with a nurse in his or her office “.
Instead, the administration of mandatory and recommended vaccinations will start shortly, including that for covid, in another Calabrian province: Cosenza. Already in 2020, the Fimp section of the city had initiated and reached an agreement with the direction of the Prevention Department but the explosion of the Sars-Cov2 infection slowed the process. Now, the need for the participation of local doctors in the practice of the Sars-Cov2 vaccine, first at the national level and then at the regional level, has meant that other agreements have been signed.
In June 2021, a resolution was thus approved which provides for both the operating procedures for the practice of anti-Covid 19 vaccines and those of PNPV by pediatricians. “To support the vaccination services of the ASP, expand the vaccination offer to the pediatric population, promote vaccinations, recover defaulters – explains Alfonso Mazzuca, secretary of Fimp Province of Cosenza – family pediatricians on a voluntary basis, will be able to administer the vaccines provided from the current PNPV. In addition, access to the regional vaccine registry platform is provided to update the records of their patients in real time. Therefore, today, all family pediatricians in the Calabria Region can access this platform with personal access keys and operate on it “.
The paper agreement is already operational. “Now we are waiting to define with the Management of the Prevention Department how to proceed especially for the supply of doses – continues Mazzuca – but also on the opportunity, not foreseen in the resolution, to be able to carry out vaccines in the Asp offices. Collaboration between different entities will certainly be necessary, which in the past had difficulties in dialogue, but who now have the awareness that full harmony is needed to overcome the enormous difficulties caused by the pandemic we are experiencing. The contribution of pediatricians can have a decisive impact on the vaccination coverage of the children they have the responsibility to follow. Participation in this activity is on a voluntary basis, and over 65/70% of our trade union group, but also of the remaining share of pediatricians in the province of Cosenza, has given their availability. Playing a role in nutrition education, in the orientation of cognitive processes, in the encouragement of healthy physical activity, as well as in the prevention of infectious diseases, are public health missions that can guarantee the possibility of a future world of more adults. healthier, longer-lived, and favor savings for the National Health Service “.