Experiences and difficulties in implementing immunization registries in Saxony-Anhalt.
In the German Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt- the Health Department must be notified of vaccines administered to children <7 years of age including their names. The goal of this mandatory notification is to improve and stabilize the age-appropriate vaccination coverage. However- difficulties have been encountered in implementing mandatory notification. Therefore- the Health Departments of Magdeburg and Halle have launched a model project focusing on analysing and eliminating these problems. Mandatory notification requires parents' approval- endorsement of vaccantors- and availability of human and technicely resources in the Health Department. An enquiry among paediatricians and family doctors in private practice revealed widespread reservations about mandatory notification because of privacy issues related to data and legal protection. Furthermore- family doctors believed that parents disapproved of notification by name. However- a survey among young mothers revealed this not to be the case. Winning young mothers' approval depends largely on the positive attitude of the vaccinators. To implement the mandatory notification of vaccinations to the Health Department- it is necessary to dispel physicians' concerns and to inform young parents about the practical benefits. However- this places high demands on the Health Departments for maintaining immunization registries- communicating with physicians and notifying parents when immunisations are due or late.