Infectious diseases threaten the health of the citizens of the European Union. The responsibility for preventing the transmission of emerging pathogens and the resurgence of others, as well as enhancing the rapid and coordinated response capability to these threats, is therefore shared by national health authorities and the European Institutions.
Vaccination is unquestionably one of the most cost-effective public health measures available to protect citizens against infectious diseases. The wide-spread implementation of vaccination has led to the eradication of smallpox and has made Europe polio-free. All EU Member States have organised immunisation programmes to protect their citizens against serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases. Yet, some vaccines remain undervalued and under-utilised.
Therefore, the EU works together with the Member States to strengthen the advocacy on the benefits of immunisation against diseases where safe and effective vaccines are available. More specifically, the EU supports the Member States in areas such as immunisation of children against priority vaccine preventable diseases (for example measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, Haemophilus influenzae b, hepatitis B), immunisation against the human papilloma virus and immunisation against seasonal flu.