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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital
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Tactics employed by healthcare providers in Denmark to determine the vaccination needs of asylum-seeking children: a qualitative study

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

DOI

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BACKGROUND: Many asylum-seekers to Denmark come from war-torn countries where conflict and insufficient health care infrastructures disrupt vaccine programmes and result in very few children and their families presenting documentation of vaccinations on their arrival in asylum-centers. There is a need to explore how healthcare providers, in the absence of vaccine documentation, determine the vaccination needs of newly arrived refugee children.

METHODS: To explore the tactics employed by healthcare professionals who screen and vaccinate asylum-seeking children in Denmark, we conducted semi-structured interviews between December 2015 and January 2016 with six healthcare professionals, including three doctors and three public health nurses. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and subjected to a thematic network analysis.

RESULTS: The analysis revealed that healthcare providers adopt a number of tactics to ascertain children's immunization needs. They ask into the children's vaccination history through the use of qualified interpreters; consult WHO lists of immunization programmes worldwide; draw on tacit knowledge about country vaccination programmes; consider the background of parents; err on the side of caution and revaccinate.

CONCLUSIONS: This is one of the first studies to demonstrate the tactics employed by healthcare providers to ascertain the immunization needs of asylum-seeking children in a western receiving country. The findings suggest a need for clear guidance at a national level on how to determine the vaccination needs of asylum-seeking children, and an international effort to secure reliable immunization documentation for migrant populations, for example through virtual immunization records.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBMC Health Services Research
Vol/bind18
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)859
ISSN1472-6963
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 14 nov. 2018

ID: 55650712