Luxembourg, April 30th, 2015 – Vaccines Europe launches a call on the European Commission and Member States to align and streamline communications activities around the seasonal influenza vaccination campaigns by setting a European Influenza Day to launch seasonal vaccination every year.
Vaccines Europe President Andrea Rappagliosi prompts the establishment of a common EU-wide day to launch the seasonal influenza vaccination campaigns across all Member States in occasion of the DG SANTÉ High- Level Hearing on Seasonal Influenza Vaccination.
The meeting, organised by the European Commission back-to-back to the Workshop on joint procurement being held in Luxembourg on 29-30 April 2015, is bringing together key stakeholders across public health, regulatory, industry and civil society to discuss concrete measures that can increase flu vaccination rates in the EU.
Andrea Rappagliosi said that “the establishment of a common date to kick-off the Member States communication campaigns with a single voice and in an aligned manner will significantly raise awareness on the needs and means to keep populations properly immunised against flu”.
Communications on the benefits of flu vaccination came on the spotlight as one of the crucial factors that must be properly addressed at EU level to help achieving the necessary coverage targets, according to the Commission Staff Working Document following up on the implementation of 2009 Council Recommendation on Seasonal Influenza Vaccination.
Seasonal flu epidemics still represent an underestimated cause of significant morbidity and mortality in the EU; ECDC estimates up to 40,000 premature deaths on an average influenza season. Despite recommendations for vaccination being in place across most EU countries, the gap with actual implementation stays large with only two EU Member States reaching the Council Recommendation’s 75% target. Political leadership remains key to addressing the status quo.
About Vaccines Europe
Vaccines Europe is the specialised vaccine group operating within the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). It represents the major research-based vaccine companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises operating in Europe.
For more information on Vaccines Europe, visit www.vaccineseurope.eu
For more information on EFPIA, visit www.efpia.eu