Background: Vaccination is one of the most effective public health strategies to control and prevent diseases. The Brazilian National Immunization Program is an international reference of public healthcare policy. Since 1993 Reference Centers for Special Immunobiologicals (CRIE) were implemented in order to facilitate the access to immunobiologicals, especially for those with congenital or acquired immunodeficiencies and other special morbidity conditions, or subjects exposed to risk situations. To assess knowledge and perceptions concerning the relevance of special patients’ vaccination and the immunization centers (CRIE) structure from patients, physicians and CRIE professional perspectives.
Methods: An opinion survey was carried out in 2018 from June to July, including patients, physicians and CRIE professionals. A structured questionnaire was applied in a single interview to each interest group through phone calls. All instruments contained questions on general information, individuals’ profile, and knowledge and perceptions concerning CRIE. Results were obtained from the compilation of each groups’ answers. Data analysis was carried out in a descriptive approach, through measures of central tendency and dispersion for continuous variables, and measures of frequency for categorical variables.
Results: The sample was composed by 280 individuals: 135 physicians; 135 patients; and 10 CRIE professionals. Regarding physician’s perspective, most of them reported to know CRIE (79%) and to refer patients (64%), and agreeing that a good quality service with well-trained professionals is offered (91%). Patients reported to receive the recommendation for vaccination by attending physician (91%), and to have never experienced the unavailability of a vaccine (91%) at CRIE. Analysis from CRIE professional’s perspective showed that patients are most frequently referred to CRIE by infectologists (33%) and that vaccination campaigns have a huge influence on demand. However, they also reported that there is no disclosure about CRIE service for population and physicians.
Conclusions: Physicians classify vaccination as extremely important and all patients reported to follow recommendation. About immunization centers, a great perception about the service provided by CRIE was reported, but there is still place for uptake the patient journey.