Vaccination against emerging and reemerging infectious diseases in places of detention: a global multistage scoping review

Babak Moazen*, Nasrul Ismail, Nisreen Agbaria, Sara Mazzilli, Davide Petri, Arianna Amaya, Jemima D’Arcy, Emma Plugge, Lara Tavoschi, Heino Stöver

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Background: Despite the elevated risks of infection transmission, people in prisons frequently encounter significant barriers in accessing essential healthcare services in many countries. The present scoping review aimed to evaluate the state of availability and model of delivery of vaccination services within correctional facilities across the globe. Methods: Following the methodological framework for scoping reviews and adhering to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) extension for scoping reviews criteria, we conducted a systematic search across four peer-reviewed literature databases (Medline via PubMed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, Science Direct, and EBSCO), as well as 14 sources of grey literature. Two researchers meticulously examined the identified papers independently to extract pertinent data published between 2012 and 2022. The quality of the selected publications was assessed using established quality assessment tools. Results: Of the 11,281 identified papers 52 met the inclusion criteria. With the exception of one, all the included publications presented data from high-income countries, predominantly originating from the United States. Across the world, the most prevalent vaccines available in prison settings were COVID-19 and HBV vaccines, typically distributed in response to health crises such as pandemics, epidemics, and local outbreaks. Vaccine coverage and uptake rates within correctional facilities displayed noteworthy disparities among various countries and regions. Besides, individual and organizational barriers and facilitating factors of vaccination in prison settings emerged and discussed in the text. Discussion: The lack of vaccination services combined with low rates of vaccination coverage and uptake among people living and working in correctional facilities represents a cause for concern. Prisons are not isolated from the broader community, therefore, efforts to increase vaccine uptake among people who live and work in prisons will yield broader public health benefits.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1323195
    JournalFrontiers in Public Health
    Publication statusPublished - 2024

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    Copyright © 2024 Moazen, Ismail, Agbaria, Mazzilli, Petri, Amaya, D’Arcy, Plugge, Tavoschi and Stöver.


    • immunization
    • infectious diseases
    • primary prevention
    • prisons
    • vaccination


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