Due to increased influx of migrants to and within Europe over the past years, health care systems across many member states have been confronted with new problems of developing accessible, appropriate and good quality services for these groups. Most of the non-immunized population in Europe is often found within these vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, which lack access to vaccines and balanced information about the importance of vaccination. As the immunization of migrants and refugees is a high priority issue for the EU health program, the EU funded program PROMOVAX aimed to bring together different institutions and organizations in the disciplines of migrant health, migrant workers health, public health as well as immunizations, thus forming a network of communication and collaboration for the promotion of vaccination uptake for this group.

The main objective of PROMOVAX was to complement current EU policies on reaching these hard-to-reach populations by expanding the existing knowledge of barriers among migrants concerning immunizations, developing recommendations for policy-makers regarding the immunization of migrants and creating and disseminating educational material for both health professionals and migrants about this matter.

Furthermore, it aimed to enhance migrants’ health in general through the establishment of healthcare provider and migrant communication channels, as well as the promotion of migrants’ trust in the health system of EU member states.

Within the scope of PROMOVAX, a thorough investigation was conducted on the origin, demographics and available information regarding immunization coverage, culture and attitudes towards vaccination among these migrant groups. Furthermore, an extensive list of migrant immunization practices across European countries was compiled and, subsequently, best practices as well as missed opportunities and gaps were identified and brought to the fore.

Based on the knowledge collected through this research, tailor-made toolkits including information on immunization schedules and practices in migrant hosting countries and other resources were developed for use by health professionals in EU countries caring and working with migrants. Furthermore, toolkits in the form of immunization promotion materials were also developed to be used by migrants, in the format of a handbook. It included lay information on immunization and was created in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner, with the contribution of health communicators, cultural mediators and migrant leaders.

MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Engaging all of Europe in shaping a desirable and sustainable future
Expect the unexpected and know how to respond
Driving innovation in crisis management for European resilience
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Solutions to improve CBRNe resilience
Network for Communicable Disease Control in Southern Europe and Mediterranean Countries
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
Strengthening of the national surveillance system for communicable diseases
Surveillance of vaccine preventable hepatitis
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
European network for highly infectious disease
Dedicated surveillance network for surveillance and control of vaccine preventable diseases in the EU
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Addressing chronic diseases and healthy ageing across the life cycle
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Get involved in the responsible marine research and innovation
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Promote vaccinations among migrant population in Europe
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improve the quality of indoor air, keeping it free from radon
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Investigating how cities in the West securitise against global pandemics
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence