Sicupp Congress, pediatricians at the heart of the vaccination culture

(Adnkronos) – A few days after the conclusion of the ninth National Congress of the Italian Society of Pediatric Primary Care (Sicupp), held from 9 to 11 June in Catania, the balance is positive. The panels in the program suggested comparisons and updates on the problems that the pediatric specialist has to face in the different stages of the child’s growth. Many preventive interventions, including vaccinations.

“The pandemic has had a major impact on the organizational plan by reducing access to vaccination centers along with the public’s fear of leaving the house. Therefore, many families have not vaccinated their children, which has postponed them to more appropriate times. However, proliferation is often not possible to recover ”. It said Gaetano Bottaro, a free-choice pediatrician in Catania and one of the organizers of the congress. Among the first vaccines to be hit was the one against rotavirus, which according to the WHO is responsible for the most serious form of viral gastroenteritis in children under five, and which the region of Sicily introduced in 2013 against, first in Italy, universal vaccination. Recommended for all children from the sixth week of life, administration should be completed within 24 weeks. “I already recommended it when it was still paid – Bottaro remembers.” .

Vaccination prevention must now regain the impact of anti-infective measures on services that have led “vaccination offices to regulate access upon booking. Therefore, the influx has decreased and now it is necessary to implement recall programs from the region. but it will not be enough without a project to restore the spread. ” A discourse that is also valid for meningitis, especially group B, which – again according to Bottaro – “has the various recalls as its criticality with a four-dose scheme, which makes it more challenging to achieve coverage. along with other vaccines, unlike what happens in the UK where it is possible to administer it with the hexavalent, and then the short-term effects, ie the fever peak, which may be higher and the prolonged muscle pain at the injection site, can trigger resistance for families “as we are talking about recommended but not mandatory vaccines. But let’s talk about protecting children from dangerous diseases: I personally recommend to my patients all the vaccines set out in the regional and national plan”.

And about meningitis, Bottaro emphasizes that “although it does not cause epidemics, the bacterium is always present in the area, just keep in mind that 10 percent of the pediatric population carries both meningococci and pneumococci in the nose. The disease does not always develop at every moment. of life, but it is a danger that should not be underestimated, above all for the health of the individual. ‘ replacement of retired pediatricians its weight given that “many children have been redirected to family physicians who, however, do not have the same culture to prevent and promote vaccination”, Bottaro emphasizes.

“We should force our institutions so that we can vaccinate in the pediatrician’s office: there is already a national agreement that allows it, in many regions it is already happening, but in Sicily we have not yet managed to get it. Our health balance schedule includes ten stages, which follow all stages of the child’s development and which overlap the correct timing of first doses and reminders, starting from the first months up to 12 years – concludes the pediatrician active in the province of Catania -. If this were already the case, we would have one more weapon to respond to the vaccination delay “.

Dr. Milena Lo Giudice, one of the speakers at Sicupp’s National Congress and family pediatrician in Palermo, stresses the disappointing data for papillomavirus, but also the non-recoverable rotavirus covers. “We are talking about a virus that affects children in the very first months of life and which can cause a number of manifestations that can also lead to hospitalization or even resuscitation. Prior to the introduction of the vaccine, there were eleven deaths a year in Italy: we run the risk of going back if we do not activate recovery projects. “The active and free offer collides with the difficulties Sicilians have had in accessing vaccination centers Palermo had closed all but one of them for a few months, then the entrance was regulated by booking. Therefore the problem is not in the regional calendar. Being able to vaccinate in the family pediatrician’s doctor’s office would be the turning point, but the bureaucratic obstacles , to be overcome are not few ”.

If rotavirus again, according to Lo Giudice’s experience, precludes the perception of not being a serious disease, meningitis warns parents more. “However, the pandemic has pushed the number of young people away – the pediatrician continues – we are talking about a recall for meningococcus B and for ACWY strains. These are non-mandatory vaccinations, so if families are not well informed and guided, we see that “There is a drop in attention. Initiatives such as open days, which some centers, such as in Palermo, activate, are useful corrective measures”.

The invitation to colleagues, especially young professionals, is to listen to the parents’ fears, “to which we respond by providing as much information as possible so that the data is understood – emphasizes Lo Giudice – therefore I invite paediatricians to study, to learn the subject to know thoroughly to respond to families’ fears with solid knowledge.It happened to me that someone feared the meningitis vaccine because they were convinced that the bacterium was inside and that it was the real cause of the disease.These doubts need answers , and to do so you must study well “. The emphasis also stems from the awareness that even in the Covid emergency “there have been no wax pediatricians either. If we want them to become referees for vaccinations for children, we need to focus a lot on training. When you think of the trainees, “The training in vaccinology needs to be improved. Although it is good for colleagues to follow refresher courses, and then give clear indications to families”.

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