The Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection
(SANCO) of the European Commission works to improve the safety
of food and other products, consumers' rights and the protection
of people's health and supports the following projects in
the area of pandemic influenza and communicable diseases.
FLUSECURE: Combating FLU in a combined action between
industry and the public sector in order to SECURE adequate
and fast vaccine interventions in Europe
FLUSECURE will by establishing a network of European public
health institutions, support European manufacturers in producing
an effective pandemic influenza vaccine for the population
in the shortest possible time.
Through this project, the public sector will underpin industry
- the development of a library of safety-tested viral vaccine
seed stocks as a source for manufacturing of a pandemic
- initiatives to improve vaccine efficacy and the quantification
thereof by the development of better correlates of protection,
e.g. potency testing/serological methods, and
- providing support for clinical trials for the mock-up
vaccine and development of post marketing surveillance systems.
It will assist industry in conducting the clinical trials
and gathering data on alternative vaccine formulations,
including varying doses of antigen and the use of adjuvants.
Collaborations will be established with EVM, WHO, EMEA and
the ECDC. It is anticipated that this project will aid Industry
in manufacturing trial lots of vaccine and in submission of
mock-up dossiers for different virus reference strains in
accordance with the latest guidelines on pandemic vaccines
issued by the EMEA, and in exploiting the mock dossier datain
the deployment of a real pandemic vaccine produced under the
mock dossier scheme.
The Commission contribution covers 60% of total costs. Partners
are UK (HPA), DEN (SSI), KTL(FI); NO, DE, FR, SI, RO, HU.
Projected costs (3 years): € 6.250.153;
Commission contribution: €3.749.777.
EISS: aims to contribute to a reduction in morbidity
and mortality due to influenza in Europe
EISS helps reduce the burden of disease associated with influenza
in Europe by collecting and exchanging timely information
on influenza activity, contributing to the annual determination
of the influenza vaccine content, providing relevant information
about (seasonal) influenza to health professionals and the
general public and contributing to European influenza pandemic
All 25 European Union Member States, Norway, Romania and
Switzerland participate in EISS. The United Kingdom is represented
by four surveillance networks: England, Northern Ireland,
Scotland and Wales.
EISS publishes a weekly
surveillance report on influenza activity in 28 countries:
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia,
France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway,
Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, the Slovak Republic,
Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales. The surveillance
reports are based on data reported by roughly 13,000 sentinel
physicians and cover a total population of 464 million inhabitants.
EISS also operates the Community
Network of Reference Laboratories for Human Influenza.
This network includes 38 reference laboratories in all of
the countries participating .EISS has been developing standard
protocols for laboratory evidence for human infections with
Avian Influenza. Further information is available on www.eiss.org.
The EU Early Warning and Response System (EWRS)
Communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis, Measles and Influenza,
represent a serious risk to human health, contributing to
about one third of all deaths occurring globally. Communicable
diseases do not respect national frontiers and can spread
rapidly if actions are not taken to combat them. New diseases
such as AIDS emerge and others develop drug-resistant forms
such as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and methicillin
resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, new scientific
developments on the role of infectious agents in chronic conditions
such as cancer, heart diseases or allergies are under investigation.
In responding to these various issues the Network on Communicable
Diseases started work in 1999 (Decision
2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and the Council).
The Communicable Diseases Network is built on work done with
States and consists of two pillars:
2000/96/EC specifies the list
of communicable diseases to be placed progressively under
EU-wide surveillance and the criteria for their selection.
The network´s main task is to monitor and track developments.
Within that network disease-specific
networks have been created.
The second pillar of the network is an early warning and response
system (EWRS) to alert public health authorities in Member
States and the Commission on outbreaks with greater than national
dimensions, so that a co-ordinated EU action may be required
To increase the comparability of the data from the different Member States
animportant Commission decision was taken on 19 March 2002.
2002/253/EC lays down case definitions for reporting communicable
diseases to the Community network.
The second pillar of the Communicable Diseases Network is
an early warning and response system (EWRS) to alert public
health authorities in Member States and the Commission on
outbreaks with greater than national dimensions, so that a
coordinated EU action may be required. Commission Decision
2000/57/EC on the EWRS makes it clear that all events which
could lead to outbreaks of EU-wide significance should be
reported under the EWRS irrespective of whether or not a disease-specific
network at EU level has been set up. Depending on the specific
situation, the Commission and Member States agree on the appropriate
action to be taken individually or together.
The EWRS is a telematic system linking the
designated authorities in Member States and the Commission.
The system allows for immediate exchange of views
on risk assessment and risk management crucial for timely
public health action. The EWRS has already proven
to be a useful tool during a number of outbreaks/incidents
and is presently actively engaged in surveillance and response