Send to

Choose Destination
Minerva Pediatr. 2016 Apr;68(2):121-6. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Second-generation immigrant children: health prevention for a new population in terms of vaccination coverage and health assessment.

Author information

Institute of Pediatrics, "Sacro Cuore" Catholic University, Rome, Italy -



In recent years the total number of foreigners taking up residence in Italy is increasing: the number of children born in Italy to foreign parents currently account for 15% of all babies born in the country. This population is generally referred to as "second-generation immigrants". We evaluated the health conditions of this particular population by investigating the vaccination coverage and auxological data in a group of foreign children living in a foster care setting and by comparing them to those regarding a group of foreign children living with their own parents.


This study was conducted in a foster care association in Rome. The Pediatric Unit of "A. Gemelli" Hospital, Rome, provided all data for comparison. Two groups of children (group 1: 60 children from a foster care association; group 2: 91 children living with their parents; group 3: 112 healthy controls) with similar characteristics were taken into consideration.


There were statistical differences between groups: the administration rate of hexavalent vaccine was significantly higher in group 2 than in group 1 (84.6% vs. 65.0%) (P<0.01); the administration rate of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, again, was significantly higher in group 2 compared to group 1 (69.0% vs. 47.5%) (P<0.05); the administration rate of heptavalent pneumococcal vaccine, however, was higher in group 1 (21/60; 35.0%) than in group 2 (20/91; 21.9%) (P>0.05), although the administration rate of serogroup C meningococcal vaccine was lower in group 1 (10/60; 16.7%) compared to group 2 (17/91; 18.7%) (P>0.05). As for auxological parameters, there were no statistical differences between groups.


The data presented in this study seem to suggest the need for a special health programme to be promoted by the Italian National Health System in order to address the needs of the particular risk group of second-generation immigrant children. Vaccination coverage should be especially boosted, and pediatricians should have a key role in terms of awareness raising and education of immigrant families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Minerva Medica
Loading ...
Support Center