How does the pediatrician ensure optimal vaccination coverage? And how can it make up for – in full Covid-19 emergency – to ensure vaccinations? How important is the collaboration between pediatricians, family doctors and hygienists? Where are we with the vaccination registries? These are just some of the many questions that emerged during the webinar “Covid Next Step: we have the vaccine, but the other vaccinations?” online talk promoted and organized by Fare Comunicazione, with the unconditional contribution of GSK, on the subject of vaccinations obscured by the pandemic emergency and which was attended by general practitioners, hygienists, pediatricians of free choice and infectious diseases.
“In addition to the collaboration between general practitioners, pediatricians and hygienists that is working very well – he said Giovanni Vitali Rosati, pediatrician of free choice of the Asl 10 of Florence – it is important that everyone can access the shared digital regional registry, hoping that we can soon have a single national, if not European and global, vaccination registry. There is a lot of talk about the vaccination passport that is being proposed again for Covid-19 at the moment, my hope is that this is an opportunity to extend it to other vaccinations as well “.
“I am pleased to note – again Vitali Rosati – that my friends in general practitioners are taking on a great responsibility in the vaccination field. Vaccination, in fact, was once considered an activity of exclusive competence of hygienists. Family doctors have gone from being protagonists of the flu vaccination to being protagonists of other vaccinations as well. Here, we should continue with this attitude of extreme collaboration and complementarity to achieve even better results. Covid-19 was a tsunami for everyone but the pandemic emergency has taught us a lot. For example, in Tuscany we have optimized health balances, scheduled visits at the age when the child is well, from birth up to 14 years, in which we evaluate the physical and psychoaffective growth of the child, give advice to parents, carry out checks aimed at exclude different diseases according to the various age groups. During the health checks we pediatricians must carry out a promotion of vaccinations and, if possible, vaccinate ourselves. In Tuscany we are already doing it, during the pandemic this activity has been strengthened even more because we have tried to optimize the visits precisely to do more vaccinations. In our clinics, for example, we have advanced the vaccination for the papilloma virus to the health budget of ten years. This was made possible because this vaccine can be administered as early as 9 years and 1 day. I myself in 2020 vaccinated about 50 more children for Hpv than in 2019. This is why I say that for us pediatricians, Covid represented an opportunity. Surely the flu vaccination may have been a test case for what could be the anti-Covid vaccination. We pediatricians, however, will remain behind because the children are not included in the vaccination, not even in the experimentation although trials have already started in children aged 12 and over ”.
“Let us not delude ourselves, the flu has not disappeared – he warned Giorgio Conforti, pediatrician of free choice from Genoa -. In recent years it arrived later than in January and February, so let’s be careful of the parainfluenza forms, among the little ones they are already increasing. And then it’s not true that children don’t get Covid-19. They get sick absolutely like adults but with lighter forms compared to them. So children will be absolutely targets of vaccination ”. By vaccinating against the flu “we have already partially vaccinated against Covid – Conforti argued -. Like? In two ways: first of all, by taking away from the hospitals what was feared for the sum of flu-like pathologies, that is, that they were going to add up to Covid pathologies, in addition to the number of patients. Okay for the moment, but that’s not necessarily the case. The second reason, demonstrating how many people can be vaccinated in such a short time ”.
And regarding the impact that Covid has had on the role of pediatrics, Conforti has no doubts: “We pediatricians – he says – thanks to the virus we have achieved what the calendar for life has been asking for for many years, namely vaccinating children under 6 healthy years, not only if suffering from pathologies. In many countries it is already done, this year even if not with a strict indication, the Ministry of Health has told the regions ‘see to vaccinate children under 6 years’. Then they gave us the resources ”. And on the vaccination register: “It is absolutely a question to be resolved urgently – concluded Conforti – we have been saying this for many years. Because also thanks to this tool, vaccinations would proceed more quickly ”.