Vaccines Europe welcomes the Council Conclusions on “Vaccinations as an effective tool in public health”, adopted today by the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council. The adopted Conclusions are a fundamental development on the EU political agenda for public health, and constitute an important basis to strengthen EU action in supporting Member States to implement effective immunisation programmes in the years to come.
The Council Conclusions recognise the core challenges affecting the “state of health” of vaccination programmes in the EU, which go from costly outbreaks of preventable diseases to the need of addressing demographic ageing through a life-course approach to vaccination.
“Prevention is still not sufficiently tapped on in the current healthcare set up, and we need to foster a new immunisation culture through both healthcare professionals and civil society” – states Vaccines Europe President Andrea Rappagliosi – “the adoption of the Council Conclusions marks a fundamental paradigm change in the role of vaccination for the benefit of public health. We congratulate the Italian Presidency of the EU for leading on such an important public health issue and for taking this on as part of their work on prevention”. The Vaccines Europe President also confirmed the engagement of the association to contribute to the setting of a European agenda on vaccination based on the Council Conclusions.
Vaccines Europe has launched a “call for action” in June 2014 proposing some actions to be addressed by EU authorities to develop a vaccination strategy for Europe tackling all shared challenges faced by Member States. The Vaccines Europe roadmap is built on five main pillars:
- Implementing a holistic EU approach to prevention
- Accelerating citizen access to innovative vaccines
- Enhancing EU Citizens’ protection against preventable diseases
- Supporting a stronger European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- Building effective communications strategies and stakeholder engagement.