Specific plans are in place at both EU and national level. The EU's preparedness plan identifies roles and actions for
players at EU and national level for each stage of a pandemic. The plan is
continuously kept under review to incorporate the latest scientific
developments and emerging issues.
Assessment of national preparedness
The European Centre for
Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), in collaboration with the Commission
and the WHO, has assessed the national pandemic preparedness plans. See the
technical report(2 MB) for details.
Exchange of best practices
A number of conferences
have been held with all 27 EU countries and the 53 countries of the WHO
European region to identify essential elements of pandemic planning, exchange
best practice and identify gaps and ways forward.
Only a few EU countries have facilities to produce vaccines, so in the event
of a pandemic, vaccine shortage is highly likely. The Health Security Committee
(HSC) has endorsed a
strategy(213 KB) to ensure that adequate supplies of influenza vaccine can be
provided as fast as possible in the event of a pandemic.
Commission's role in the event of a pandemic
In the event of an influenza pandemic, the Commission takes the lead in EU
coordination through the early
warning and response system (EWRS) , which requires the national authorities
to notify each other of measures taken or intended. The Commission is also in
permanent contact with key partners such as ECDC, the European Medicines Agency
(EMA), the WHO and the
Global Health and Security Initiative (GHSI).
Once WHO has declared a pandemic, the Commission may consider a
simplified fast-track procedure for granting marketing authorisation for
pandemic influenza vaccines.