Country immunization policies for refugees across 20 low-middle income and 20 high-income countries

Vaccine. 2022 Oct 6;40(42):6017-6022. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.09.032. Epub 2022 Sep 16.


In 2020, 26 million refugees resettled in a new country-fleeing their homes due to conflict and persecution. Due to low immunization coverage and underlying health conditions, refugees commonly face an increased risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. We collected and analyzed existing routine immunization policies for refugees across 20 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and 20 high-income countries (HICs), each with the highest number of refugees per 1000 residents. Primary and secondary data sources were used to collect policy evidence. Across 20 LMICs, 13 countries specified standing nationwide routine immunization policies for refugees, while 14 out of the 20 HICs included refugees in their national routine immunization programs. LMICs and HICs should include refugees in their national routine immunization policies and provide accessible and affordable immunizations. Such efforts would reduce vaccine-preventable diseases and protect the health of refugee populations-especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: Immunizations; Policies; Refugees; Routine; Vaccines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Developed Countries
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunization Programs
  • Pandemics
  • Policy
  • Refugees*
  • Vaccine-Preventable Diseases*