Commission calls for stronger EU cooperation against preventable diseases
The Commission issued today a set of recommendations on how the EU can strengthen cooperation in the fight against diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. This follows President Juncker's call, in his 2017 State of the Union address, for action to increase vaccination coverage and to ensure that everyone in the EU has access to vaccines.
The Commission's proposal focuses on three main pillars for action: tackling vaccine hesitancy and improving vaccination coverage; sustainable vaccination policies in the EU; and EU coordination and contribution to global health.
The proposal calls for 20 concrete actions by the Commission and Member States, including:
- Developing and implementing national and/or regional vaccination plans by 2020, including a target of at least 95% vaccination coverage for measles;
- Introducing routine checks of vaccination status and regular opportunities to vaccinate across different stages of life, for example in schools and workplaces;
- Presenting options for a common vaccination card that can be shared electronically across borders;
- Establishing a European vaccination information portal by 2019 to provide online objective, transparent and updated evidence on the benefits and safety of vaccines;
- Mitigating the risks of shortages by developing a virtual repository EU data warehouse with information on vaccine stocks and needs to facilitate voluntary exchange of information on available supplies and shortages of essential vaccines;
- Equipping all healthcare workers with the necessary training to confidently deliver vaccinations and address hesitant behaviours;
- Convening a Coalition for Vaccination to bring together European associations of healthcare workers as well as relevant students' associations in the field, to commit to delivering accurate information to the public, combating myths and exchanging best practice;
- Establishing a European Information Sharing System to gather knowledge and develop guidelines for a core EU vaccination schedule by 2020 with doses and ages that EU Member States agree as being common to all countries;
- Strengthening partnerships and collaboration on vaccination with international partners.
26 April 2018