Today more than 400 public health and civil society representatives from across Europe and partner countries are gathering in Brussels for the Global Vaccination Summit organised by the European Commission, in cooperation with the World Health Organisation. Together they will set out a new global vision for vaccination for the next decade. The summit is a clear affirmation of the EU’s belief in vaccination as the most successful public health measure that saves millions of lives every year.
The EU has played a leading role in keeping vaccination high on the global policy agenda. Today’s summit has two main aims. First, to boost political commitment towards eliminating vaccine-preventable diseases. And second, to galvanise political leaders and key figures from the worlds of science, medicine, industry, philanthropy and civil society into taking global action to halt the spread of vaccine misinformation.
In all, the EU has provided €300 million in support for GAVI, the Global Vaccine Alliance, to pursue a sustainable vaccination strategy. In doing so, the EU has helped improve global vaccination coverage, especially in poor countries, and give a sustainably boost to the health systems in these countries. Thanks to GAVI, and the EU’s contribution to it, between 2 and 3 million deaths have been avoided every year, giving more people the chance to lead healthy and productive lives. Vaccination is unequivocally a success story; that’s why the EU wants to keep investing in better access to modern vaccines in poor countries.
From a development perspective, the EU will engage on four fronts:
- pursuing a vaccination strategy as a component of robust health systems
- building resilient immunisation systems with all essential components;
- working more efficiently to deliver vaccination services; and
- focusing constantly on avoiding outbreaks of disease, like Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Vaccination is the most successful public health measure of modern times. Thanks to widespread vaccination, smallpox has been eradicated, Europe has become polio-free, and the elimination of other diseases is on the horizon. Vaccination prevents an estimated 2.5 million deaths worldwide each year and reduces disease-specific treatment costs. Despite the success of global vaccination support, several EU and neighbouring countries are currently facing unprecedented outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases due to insufficient vaccination coverage rates. Unequal access to vaccines and, in some places, falling public confidence in vaccination are a cause for concern and a major challenge for public health experts. The WHO has declared vaccine misinformation one of the main health threats for 2019.
Summit hashtags: #VaccinationSummit19 #VaccinesWork