Moments ago, at the EU Health Policy Platform annual meeting in Brussels, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, awarded the EU Health Award for Health Award for NGOs promoting vaccination – a prize which aims to reward outstanding initiatives by NGOs which have helped achieve higher levels of public health for Europeans through vaccination.
Presenting the award at the annual EU Health Policy Platform, Commissioner Andriukaitis said: "Immunising people against diseases caused by viruses or bacteria is one of the most cost-effective public health measures available today. Yet, worryingly, misconceptions and scepticism about the need to vaccinate is growing. The public-facing role of Non-Governmental Organisations is crucial in the effort to ensure high vaccination coverage. The NGOs awarded today should be proud of their contribution to better public health through vaccination. This award is designed not only to reward their past success but also to encourage the pursuit of their work."
The €20,000 first prize was awarded to SloMSIC Ljubljana from Slovenia, for their innovative awareness-raising campaign against vaccine-hesitancy, "Project Immuno". To raise general public's awareness on the importance of vaccines, medical students organised workshops for future parents and high school students, in addition to a seasonal flu vaccination campaign. Furthermore, SloMSIC encourages other medical student organisations in Europe and around the world to set up a similar activity.
The Commissioner awarded the second prize of €15,000 to the Association National Network of Health Mediation (NNHM) from Bulgaria for the campaign "Vaccine Prophylaxis through health mediation in Roma community", which used health mediators to reach out to the Roma population and educate professionals.
He awarded the third prize of €10,000 to the EU-level European Pharmaceutical Students' Association (EPSA) for their well organised "Vaccination Awareness Public Health Campaign 2016", which included an inter-sectoral dimension.
In addition, the following shortlisted NGOs receiving a certificate in recognition of their achievements in promoting vaccination:
- Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) / UK, The life course immunisation initiative
- Collaborative Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes Research (CLEO) / Greece, Increasing Healthcare Workers (HCW) uptake of seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) in a tertiary pediatric hospital in Greece with a 3-step, tailor-made multifaceted strategy
- GHAPRO /Belgium, Hepatitis B vaccination for sex workers in Flanders
- KBO-PCOB / Netherlands, Vaccination program for senior citizens
- Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre / Ireland, Community Awareness Programme on Vaccination
- Romanian Association for Education in Family Medicine (AREPMF) / Romania, Vaccine Advocacy/National awareness and education campaign on the benefits of vaccination and the risks of non-vaccination
- Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative Think Tank / Germany, A mobile application
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