Childhood immunisation

Immunisation is a safe and cost-effective way to protect people – especially infants and young children – from certain infectious diseases.
All EU countries have a 'vaccination schedule', recommending the vaccines to be given at various ages during childhood. However, too many children in Europe go unvaccinated and remain vulnerable to potentially life-threatening diseases.

Improving rates of childhood immunisation at EU level

Following agreement on the need to strengthen childhood immunisation at EU level in the 2011 Council Conclusions on childhood immunisation, the Commission (together with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)) is supporting EU countries by:

  • advising them on best-practice measures during outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases
  • funding projects  on immunisation through the Health Programme
  • improving data for monitoring vaccination coverage (via the VENICE network)
  • encouraging European associations of healthcare professionals to help advocate childhood immunisation to parents
  • providing objective and evidence-based information to healthcare professionals (e.g. European public assessment reports) and the public (e.g. ECDC TV).