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Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2013 Jun;61(3):199-203. doi: 10.1016/j.respe.2012.12.017. Epub 2013 May 6.

[Measles vaccination campaign among vulnerable populations during the peak of the 2011 epidemic in Marseilles].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Médecins du Monde, 62, rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris, France.



From 2008 to the end of 2011, Europe experienced a major outbreak of measles. The outbreak hit France especially hard, with measles hotspots in the South-East of France. It is known that people living in precarious socio-economic conditions are more exposed to infectious diseases. Regarding the local situation, the NGO "MdM-Marseille" decided to conduct a vaccination campaign among the Roma community living in camps.


The campaign was planned with two injections of a combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) in a one month interval for all young people born since 1980 and over the age of one year, regardless of antecedents. Twenty-four camps were selected. The target population was estimated at 720 people. Each site was the subject of an information visit. A letter was sent to the Prefecture to inform them and ask for a moratorium on evictions for the identified camps.


Between May 15th and September 15th 2011, 326 primary immunizations were performed during 34 visits (covering 45.3% of the target population). Over the same period, almost all the camps were evacuated, forcing teams to stop the vaccination campaign. The second injection campaign covered only 37 persons.


The vaccination campaign among Roma populations in Marseilles was organized in a context of a major national outbreak of measles in the general population. Although the Prefecture was informed, camp evictions were not interrupted. This highlights the discrepancy between public health policy and security policy. In the context of an epidemic, innovative actions should be focused on vulnerable populations in partnership with health authorities. The main objective is to find procedures that can protect populations at risk in the event of a health crisis but which are also useful for routine prevention.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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