Introduction. In Italy, three hexavalent pediatric vaccines are available: two are ready-to-use (RTU) as pre-filled syringes, while the third must be reconstituted (need-for-reconstitution [NFR]). The formulation is related to the vaccination timing, safety of preparation and administration, and possible errors in immunization. We surveyed Italian healthcare professionals (HCPs) experienced with RTU and NFR vaccines in order to investigate their opinions on key aspects of the vaccines.
Methods. In Q1 2018, a qualitative study, ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews were performed in public vaccination settings of three Italian Regions. Data on how the vaccination process was managed and perceptions about the value of the RTU formulation were collected. In Q2 2018, face-to-face interviews were carried out to explore the attitude and preferences of Italian HCPs from nine Regions, assessing advantages and disadvantages of the two formulations from a quantitative point of view. In Q3–Q4 data analysis was carried out, using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
Results. The first phase demonstrated the following advantages of the RTU versus the NFR formulation: time-saving, lower probability of needle contamination and needle stick incidents, better handling, simpler procedure, easier disposal of waste. For the survey, 149 HCPs were interviewed; 80% and 40%, respectively, were very satisfied with the RTU and NFR vaccine.
Conclusions. Our study demonstrated that HCPs prefer the RTU formulation, as it simplifies vaccinations, reduces preparation time and minimizes the risk of errors. This formulation also saves time that can be spent on more in-depth counseling.
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