Health for all

Life course vaccinations protect everyone, from newborns to senior citizens

Vaccines protect everyone: newborns, infants, children, adults and older adults

The impact of childhood vaccines: Mortality rates have dropped significantly1; smallpox was eradicated globally in the 1970s; and Europe has been declared “polio-free” since 20022

Maternal immunisation has the potential to protect newborns from dangerous infectious diseases (e.g. influenza, pertussis)3  

Vaccination helps protect the ageing population and can slow down their physical decline7

Vaccination of healthcare professionals (HCPs): HCPs need to be vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but also their patients and their friends and families

Vaccination prevents certain cancers: Hepatitis B vaccination reduces the risk of liver cancer; human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine prevents HPV-related abnormalities which could later become cancer

Vaccines protect patients with chronic disease from serious infections and their complications (e.g. influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations are specifically recommended for people with diabetes4, heart failure 5or chronic lung diseases6 )

Safe travels: Travel vaccinations protect people against infections that are indigenous to certain parts of the world

Vaccinating contributes to creating a healthier community. By getting vaccinated, we protect those who cannot be fully immunised (e.g. Immunocompromised patients), as well as those who have not yet been vaccinated (e.g. Newborns).

Adopting a life-course approach

Adopting a life-course approach to vaccination will help maximise the benefits of vaccination for individuals, public health and society. 8

Life-course approach

What Europe can do

Support immunisation at all stages of life: ensure vaccination policies that contribute to the sustainability of our healthcare systems and the productivity of our societies

Set vaccination goals and deliver their implementation throughout Europe, such as achieving the 95% target of measles vaccination coverage by 20209

Improve confidence in vaccination by establishing a European vaccination information portal to provide online, objective, transparent and updated evidence on vaccines, as already proposed by the EC

Stakeholders10 expressed their commitment to raising the seasonal influenza vaccine uptake rate to 75% in all people at high-risk11

All healthcare professionals can make a difference

Expanding access to vaccine administration reflects HCPs’ shared responsibility to vaccinate (Doctors/GPs, nurses, midwives, pharmacists etc.).13
Countries in yellow allow pharmacist vaccination. Countries in green allow vaccination in pharmacies.

Did you know

Healthcare professional play a crucial role in informing their patients on the importance of vaccination and strengthen community protection

Certain EU countries support vaccine administration by healthcare providers (HCPs) who are in contact with the wider public (e.g. pharmacists), but also with vulnerable communities (e.g. migrants)

Providing vaccination through non-healthcare settings, such as schools and the workplace, could encourage uptake across all stages in life (e.g. UK offers flu, HPV and meningitis vaccination to children in schools)12

What Europe can do

Provide guidance for EU countries on how to expand access to vaccination in healthcare and non-healthcare settings

Strengthen education and training on vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccinology, and immunisation in medical curricula for healthcare providers across all sectors

Improve confidence in vaccination by convening a coalition for vaccination bringing together European associations of healthcare providers to promote vaccination, and strengthening partnerships and collaboration on vaccination with international partners, as already proposed by the EC

1. Greenwood, B (2014). The contribution of vaccination to global health: past, present and future. The Royal Society Publishing – Vol 369 (1645).
2. WHO (2018) Certification of the Region’s polio-free status in 2002. Available here (Accessed: 19th January 2019)
3. The Lancet (2018). Maternal immunisation. Available here (Accessed: 15th December 2018)
4. Vaccines Today (2019). Diabetes & flu: a devastating combination. Available here (Accessed: 19th January 2019)
5. Vaccines Today (2019). Heart failure? Flu vaccine cuts hospital risk. Available here (Accessed: 19th January 2019)
6. Vaccines Today (2019). ‘COPD patients should have flu and pneumo vaccines’. Available here
7. Teresa Aguado, M. et. al. (2018). Report on WHO meeting on immunization in older adults: Geneva, Switzerland, 22–23 March 2017. Vaccine Vol 36(7): 921-931
8. The Health Policy Partnership (2018). A life-course approach to vaccination: adapting European policies. Available here (Accessed: 19th January 2019)
9. Council of the EU (2018). Council Recommendation on strengthened cooperation against vaccine-preventable diseases. Available here (Accessed: 15th January 2019)
Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination (2018). EU Manifesto on Influenza. Available here (Accessed: 19th November 2018)
11. Council of the EU (2009). Council Recommendation on Seasonal Influenza Vaccination. Available here (Accessed: 19th January 2019)
12. NHS (2018). Vaccinations. Available here (Accessed: 12th December 2018)
13. Vaccines Europe (2018). Improving Access and Convenience to Vaccination. Available here (Accessed: 13th October 2018)