The third online focus group, in the framework of the “Civil Society promoting vaccination across the life-course” EU project, will be held in Italy on the 25 of October 2023, organized by Cittadinanzattiva thanks to its Tribunale per i Diritti del Malato & Coordinamento Nazionale delle Associazioni dei Malati Cronici. Independent experts will discuss the importance of life course vaccination in their country, including Covid-19 lessons learned, barriers to vaccine access, options of diverse vaccine choices, and the possible change of the annual vaccination schedule.

Output: the output of the webinar will be a public report containing the key insights and recommendations gained from the meeting.


Most vaccination programmes focus on discrete life stages such as childhood, but evidence supports a life-course approach, meaning vaccination given through all phases of life. The life-course approach to immunization recognizes the role of immunization as a strategy to prevent disease and maximize health over one’s entire life, regardless of an individual’s age. A life-course approach requires that immunization schedules and access to vaccination respond to an individual’s stage in life, their lifestyle and specific vulnerabilities/risks to infectious disease that they may face.

Adult immunization in Italy

In 2017, 10 vaccinations became mandatory and free of charge for all newborns and children up to 16 years of age in Italy, while immunization remains voluntary for adults. The Italian National Immunization Plan is considered one of the most advanced adult vaccination plans in Europe. However, available data indicate low adherence to vaccination recommendations. Vaccination coverage data is only available for influenza. Eurostat reports small annual increases in influenza vaccination coverage rates for adults over 65 in the period 2015-2020: from 48.65% to 54.60%. The Italian National Immunization Plan's goal for influenza vaccination is a minimum of 75% and an optimal target of 95%.


Italy was the first European country heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the first to introduce severe lockdown measures. The estimate of excess deaths in Lombardy, the hardest-hit region of the country, peaked at over 23,000 deaths, representing a +118% excess mortality compared to the average mortality rate for the period of January 1 to April 30, 2015-2019. Despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe, as of October 15, 2021, the universal and mandatory use of the COVID-19 green pass was required in all remaining industries. On January 5, 2022, Italy made vaccination mandatory for all adults over 50 years old. As of January 10, 75% of the population was fully vaccinated, and 40% had received booster shots.





Project timeline: May-December 2023

To know more:
Civil Society promoting vaccination across the life-course project
The engagement of Cittadinanzattiva on vaccination
For more information, please write to Daniela Quaggia: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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