Important news in the field of prevention in Sardinia: the second phase of the ‘Campagna Regionale di Comunicazione Vaccinale’ (Regional Vaccine Communication Campaign) has been launched. Following the first phase, ‘Proteggi te stesso e chi ami: #IOMIVACCINO’ (Protect yourself and your loved ones: #IOMIVACCINO), dedicated to combating the Papillomavirus (on International HPV Awareness Day March 4, 2019) this phase is dedicated to prevention against flu syndrome ‘Proteggi il tuo benessere: #IOMIVACCINO’ (Protect your well-being: #IOMIVACCINO").
The Regional Campaign for Vaccination Communication, implemented following Resolution No. 54/17 of 6.12.2017 – ‘Campagna straordinaria di comunicazione finalizzata a sensibilizzare, informare ed educare le comunità sull’importanza delle vaccinazioni, in attuazione dell’articolo 5 comma40’ (Extraordinary communication campaign aimed at raising awareness, informing and educating the communities on the importance of vaccinations, in implementation of Article 5 paragraph 40), was created to inform citizens and raise awareness about the importance of vaccinations, with the ultimate aim of reaching and guaranteeing the minimum levels of vaccination coverage provided for by national and regional health planners, and about vaccine-preventable diseases for which vaccination coverage lower than the established ministerial objectives is recorded.
In order to achieve the minimum levels of vaccination coverage provided for by the national and regional health planners, in light of the sharp decline in vaccination coverage levels for the Region of Sardinia and relative to the demands in relation to the introduction of vaccinations included in the current vaccination schedule (Resolution No. 22/5 dated 3.05.2017), the Department of Hygiene, Health and Social Assistance financed a Biennial Regional Vaccination Communication Campaign (2018 -2020) tasking the Regional Council to with establishing how it is to be implemented, in collaboration with the Health Protection Agency.
Under the proposal to focus information and communication interventions on vaccine-preventable diseases for which vaccination coverage lower than the national/regional objective is recorded, different age-groups and categories have been targeted: Children (in relation to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and meningococcus); Adolescents (in relation to HPV and meningococcus); the Elderly (aged sixty-five and over, in relation to seasonal flu, pneumococcus and Herpes zoster); and Health Care Workers (in relation to measles, rubella, varicella and seasonal flu).
Furthermore, the regional mandate provided that the information/communication material created as part of the campaign be published, according to the established procedures, on the portal Vaccinarsinsardegna.org coordinated, as regional leader, by the University Hospital of Sassari. In this context, the Health Protection Company - ATS Sardegna in collaboration with the Servizio di Promozione della Salute e Osservatorio Epidemiologico dell’Assessorato Regionale alla Sanità (Health Promotion and Epidemiological Observatory Service of the Regional Health Department), the UniSS and UniCA Schools of Specialisation in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, the University Hospital Agencies in the Region and the Vaccinarsinsardegna.org team, intervened to stress the importance of vaccines as safe and effective prevention tools in the fight against communicable diseases. The Campaign began on International HPV Awareness Day, with the first of the 4 phases of the Campaign aimed at Adolescents. This first part of the #IOMIVACCINO Campaign was in fact dedicated to combating the Papillomavirus.
We are now in the second phase of this important and ambitious project, a phase which targets the Over-65 age-group and which this season is specifically aimed at influenza and anti-pneumococcal vaccination, as well as influenza vaccination for Health Care Workers.
Infections of influenza viruses are responsible for an increase in the frequency of severe cases and complications in people over 65 years of age, who are exposed to a higher risk of infection and consequently of hospitalisation and death. These can be adequately prevented by the flu vaccine which, to date, is the most effective tool for avoiding the disease and to reducing the related costs.
In this regard, Vaccinarsisnardegna.org reminds users that in Italy, vaccination is offered actively and free of charge to all subjects aged 65 and over, in addition to the at-risk categories laid out in the 2017-2019 Piano Nazionale di Prevenzione Vaccinale (National Vaccination Prevention Plan).
A total of 308,580 doses have been purchased this year by ATS Sardegna and distributed among the eight ASSLs of the Island, in the SISP clinics and to General Practitioners, with whom the agreement for the launch of the flu vaccination campaign was signed. In the Cagliari district, the flu vaccines for the at-risk groups and for over 65s are already available at GPs’ surgeries, while for all other categories they will be available at Public Hygiene Clinics from November 18th.
With regard to the district of Sassari, the flu vaccines for the at-risk categories and for over 65s are already available at the General Practitioners’ surgeries, while the vaccines for the other categories have been available from the Public Hygiene Clinics since 4th November. Finally, with regard to the districts of Oristano, Nuoro and Lanusei, the flu vaccines for over 65s will be carried out at the GPs’ surgeries, while for all other categories it will be possible to attend Public Hygiene Clinics as outlined above.
For promotional purposes, throughout the flu season, supporting information material, mainly in the form of explanatory posters and/or leaflets, will be posted in hospital wards and in General Practitioners’ Surgeries. At the same time, gadgets such as bookmarks and pins will be distributed to users at the time of vaccination. Specific signage will also inform all users of the ATS initiative aimed at protecting their health, and at the same time notify patients and family members entitled to prophylaxis where to go to receive vaccination.
For more information, consult our pages on influenza at the link: https://www.vaccinarsinsardegna.org/en/vaccinations-sardinia/prevention-and-control-of-flu-syndrome.