A summer school on vaccinology: responding to identified gaps in pre-service immunisation training of future health care workers
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Vaccine / International Society for Vaccines. - Amsterdam
, p. 2053-2059
University of Antwerp
Immunisation is one of the corner stones of public health. Most health care consumers see the health care worker as their major source of information on immunisation and vaccine safety. Doctors, nurses and midwives should be appropriately and timely trained for that role. Within the Vaccine Safety, Attitudes, Training and Communication (VACSATC) EU-project a specific work package focused on the possible improvements of pre-service training of future health care workers. Surveys to assess current pre-service training about knowledge, skills and competences towards immunisation were distributed to students and curriculum managers of medical schools, universities and nursing training institutions in seven EU countries. In all responding institutions training on vaccines and immunisation is disseminated over a wide range of courses over several academic years. Topics as immunology and vaccine-preventable diseases are well covered during the pre-service training but major gaps in knowledge and competences were identified towards vaccine safety, communication with parents, addressing anti-vaccine arguments and practical skills. This assessment underlined the rationale for adequate pre-service training and identified opportunities for improvement of pre-service training. A prototype of an accurate pre-service immunisation curriculum was developed, implemented and evaluated in the summer of 2009 with a group of 36 students from 19 countries during a summer school on vaccinology at the Antwerp University, Belgium.