As measles was spreading across the country, affecting almost 5 thousands people and killing 4 just in 2017, we filed more than one hundred Foia request to Italy’s health districts in order to gather data on vaccinal coverages on kids less than 24 months old. We got data on vaccinations against polio, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, hepatitis B, haemophilus B influence, measles, mumps, rubella, meningitis C and pneumococcus for children born in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
By using this data we were able to build the most detailed vaccinal coverage map ever: we provided data on a level lower than provinces, while Italy’s Health Ministry open data are released on regional basis. We were also able to enlight the lowering trend on vaccinal coverages, an issue which led Italy’s governement to approve a new law increasing the number of mandatory vaccinations from 4 to 10.
Although this is not a risk map from an epidemiological point of view, it allows people, parents in particular, to know wether or not herd immunity is reached where they live and act consequently. Since this has been quite an issue on Italy’s public debat, in september we filed new Foia request to gather vaccinal coverages data for kids born in 2014.
I sold this project to Wired.it, which published it on may 18th, 2017 under the title "Vaccini d’Italia". I asked, and the newsroom agreed, not to monetize data. We released them on Google Drive in order for everyone interested to use them. A second issue was released in november 2017. After the general election in 2018, we crossed vaccinal coverage and poll data looking for correlations. We (luckily) found none.
What makes this project innovative?
Datavisualizations are not that mainstream in Italy, but I wouldn't say using them is a point of innovation. As for the data themselves, I consider the choice to make data open innovative. The first time we used Google Drive to let people download them. In november, when we published new data, we made them available on Data.world. We are currently moving all data to Data.World.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Source and methodology
I have to thank Guido Romeo and Elisa Murgese at Diritto di Sapere for helping me filing Foia requests. I also need to thank Andrea Borruso and everybody at OnData for helping me extracting polls data.