Immunization status of internationally adopted children in Rome, Italy
Aims: International adoption medicine is a relatively new specialty in pediatrics that has emerged to address the specific health care needs of internationally adopted children in high‑income countries. This study ascertains the seroprotection rate for vaccine‑preventable diseases, especially against pneumococcal diseases.
Patients and Methods: We evaluated 67 internationally adopted children that reached the International Adoption Unit of Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Rome‑Italy. We collected demographic information, data from preadoption immunization records, results of laboratory testing for immunity to vaccine‑preventable diseases (tetanus, pneumococcus, hepatitis B, hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles), as well as results of screening for HIV, hepatitis C, quantiferon, immunological and nutritional status.
Results: For children that had received ≥3 vaccine doses of tetanus, overall protection was 94% of 31 vaccinated children; with 1–2 vaccine doses for hepatitis B and Hib respectively, protection was 45% of 29 vaccinated children and 63% of 8 vaccinated children, respectively. For children with one or more doses of measles vaccine, protection was 63% of 32 vaccinated children. Regarding pneumococcus vaccine (documented for eight children), 88% of children with one or more doses of vaccine had developed protective immunity.
Conclusions: International adoptees without a valid vaccine record need to undergo a complete schedule in accordance with their age and should receive all the vaccines in the adoptive country’s schedule.
Key words: And pneumococcal immunization, immigrant children, internationally adopted children, vaccination status