The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has issued new public health guidance on screening and vaccination for infectious diseases in newly arrived migrants within the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA).
In a number of EU/EEA Member States, subgroups of migrant populations are disproportionately affected by infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis B and C, the ECDC notes.
The ECDC guidance says there is a clear benefit to enrolling migrants (arrived within last five years) in vaccination programmes and ensuring catch-up vaccination where needed. This is, however, often conditional on the burden of disease in migrants' countries of origin.
Key recommendations include:
- Offer vaccination against measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) to all migrant children and adolescents without immunisation records, as a priority.
- Offer vaccination to all migrant adults without immunisation records with either one dose of MMR or in accordance with the MMR immunisation schedule of host country.
- Offer vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and HiB (DTaP-IPV-Hib) to all migrant children and adolescents without immunisation records.
- Offer vaccination to all adult migrants without immunisation records in accordance with the immunisation schedule of host country. If this is not possible, adult migrants should be given a primary series of vaccines.