Seasonal flu viruses change every year. So vaccines need to be updated every
year to ensure they work. Although safe and effective vaccines exist, not
enough Europeans get vaccinated.
On 22 December 2009 the European Council adopted a
recommendation on seasonal flu vaccination in an attempt to get more
people in at risk groups vaccinated – 75% by 2015.
When a pandemic occurs, no vaccine can be produced until the new virus
causing the pandemic is identified. It takes several months before a specific
pandemic vaccine becomes available.
The Commission has worked with EMA to speed up the marketing authorisation
procedure once a pandemic is declared. Because authorisations are based on
limited data, the Commission has also worked with EMA, ECDC and other relevant
stakeholders to create an effective system for monitoring adverse
reactions once a vaccine is being used.
When a pandemic occurs, the Commission also helps EU countries coordinate
their response – including measures related to vaccines.
In 2009, the Commission helped EU countries develop a
vaccination strategy against pandemic H1N1 influenza(183 KB) (widely known as