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Reducing Inequalities in Vaccine uptake in the European Region - Engaging Underserved communities

Health system barriers in vaccine uptake disproportionately affect specific ethnic, religious or cultural minorities across Europe and are therefore a major contributor to low vaccine uptake in these groups.

RIVER-EU aims to identify and remove these barriers, specifically focusing on MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination in selected underserved communities (migrant community in Greece, Turkish females and Moroccan females in the Netherlands, Ukrainian minority in Poland and Roma community in Slovakia). First, we will analyse health system barriers and enablers to the vaccination of these communities, and then tailor existing interventions or develop new ones, which will be implemented and evaluated. Research findings will be translated in evidence-based guidelines and an educational platform for health care professionals that can be used to address equitable access to vaccination across Europe.


Ganczak M, Kalinowski P, Pasek O, Duda-Duma Ł, Sobieraj E, Goławski J, Biesiada D, Jansen D, Vervoort JPM, Edelstein M, Kowalska M. Health System Barriers to Child Mandatory and Optional Vaccination among Ukrainian Migrants in Poland in the Context of MMR and HPV Vaccines-A Qualitative Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Dec 30;20(1):712. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20010712. PMID: 36613034; PMCID: PMC9819946.

Health system barriers to vaccination, specifically HPV/MMR vaccination among children in Ukrainian migrants in Poland. The study findings have implications for vaccination of migrant children in Poland, as well as other migrants receiving countries. A concerted effort is required to improve migrants’ awareness of the significance of vaccinations. Barriers to healthcare access must be recognized by policymakers. Importantly, removing the cost barrier may increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine among Ukrainian migrant adolescents.

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