For a couple of years we submitted tens of Foia request to NHS local offices all across the country asking for vaccine coverage data in infants younger than 24 months old. We gathered data to build the most detailed ever vaccinal coverage map of the country.
We built this site to gather together all the data we collected and to show how coverage changed during time.
In particular, we wanted to show the effect of a new law approved in may 2017, raising the number of mandatory vaccines from 4 to 10.
The story was shared on social media for thousands times. International media such as Cnn and The Times covered it, several local italian media shared their region vaccinal coverage maps.
Also researchers from italian university asked for the data.
Since we used Foia to collect data, we decided to released them in open format.
I used Tabula to open data (I got several .pdf files), I processed them with Libre Office, I used Tableau to design the maps.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The hardest part was getting the NHS local offices to release the data. Despite a new Foia law we met resistance.
Some office never answered, others denied the data, other released them just partially.
We have more than one hundred NHS local offices in Italy.
What can others learn from this project?
This investigation was one of the first conducted in Italy using Foia, a law approved in late 2016. It was a pioneer experience in Italian journalism landscape.