Vaccine hesitancy among Ukrainian refugees


Ukraine, vaccine hesitancy, refugees



On February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine so several refugees went to Poland, Romania, Russia, but also to Italy. Several factors contributed to low vaccination coverage in Ukraine and the occurrence of epidemic outbreaks. The purpose of our study was to analyze the main characteristics of refugees who accessed the Rozzano Vaccination Center (Italy), and the attitude towards proposed vaccinations.


In March-July 2022, we conducted a cross sectional study on Ukrainian refugees under the age of 18. On the basis of their vaccination certificates or antibody dosages, the doctor proposed to the parents (or legal guardians) any vaccinations to be carried out on the basis of the Italian Vaccinal Calendar. Refused or accepted vaccinations were registered and the data exported for statistical analysis. COVID-19 vaccination was excluded from our analysis.


27 refugees missed the appointment, so 79 Ukrainian refugees have been included in the study. Females represented the 51.90% of patients; the average age was 7.11 (sd 4.92) years. The most refused vaccinations were: HPV, MMR and men C. Significant differences due to age were found for Men C and Chickenpox.


The efforts made to ensure complete care and promote vaccination among refugees, offering them a complete evaluation of the vaccination status and the possibility of being vaccinated for free, seem to be insufficient to convince most refugees to get vaccinated.


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