Vaccines Europe - 28 Jun 2023
Vaccines Europe launches its manifesto for the 2024-2029 mandate, calling on European political parties to put in place an EU Immunisation Strategy for an innovative, healthy and prosperous Europe.
“We know that immunisation can bring incredible benefits to our societies, but the fact is that we are currently not realising its full potential. In the next mandate, we must put our learnings in action for a more resilient Europe through stronger immunisation policies and targets”, stresses Sibilia Quilici, Executive Director, Vaccines Europe.
Vaccines Europe, representing the innovative vaccine industry in Europe, calls on European lawmakers to put in place an EU Immunisation Strategy. By backing new vaccines research and development and strengthening protection against vaccine-preventable diseases across all generations, this strategy can help build an innovative, healthy and prosperous Europe.
Immunisation is the key to resilience
Immunisation saves millions of lives each year. It helps to tackle diseases and protect people’s health in Europe and around the world. It has enabled us to eradicate smallpox, eliminate polio from nearly every region in the world, reduce and control diseases like measles and rubella, pursue the elimination of vaccine-preventable cancers and not the least contain the recent global COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating societal and economic consequences.
However, given the major challenges the EU is facing today (ageing population, climate change, geopolitical instability), it is easy to overlook how pivotal and strategic strong immunisation policies are for Member States’ resilience and security. Yet, many of these challenges are interconnected with the spread and rise of existing and new infectious diseases and their potential to significantly weaken the EU as a whole.
Immunisation is paramount for building more resilient and sustainable health systems, serving as a powerful tool that prevents sickness, saves lives, saves money, and contributes to strong economic growth and more resilient communities. It is an investment that delivers innovation, health, and prosperity.
One strategy – three results: An innovative, healthy and prosperous Europe
Vaccine innovation is the foundation that will enable both health and economic gains and helps us to be one step ahead of public health threats. This is why the first pillar of the EU Immunisation Strategy focusses on promoting forward-thinking policies that foster innovation, including the establishment of a framework for transparent, inclusive and regular exchange between all relevant stakeholders in decision-making.
Secondly, to build a healthy Europe, it is time to put in place life-course immunisation targets to ensure uptake and protection. Combined with robust monitoring, this will help guarantee that all people in the EU, indiscriminate of their socio-economic situation or age, wherever they live or travel, get the same level of protection.
Finally, the EU Immunisation Strategy should aim to boost immunisation funding. Today, only a very small percentage of national healthcare budgets go to prevention; with a minute proportion – only 0.5% – going to immunisation. If we are to improve immunisation rates to cope with a growing and ageing population, the EU must set appropriate financial targets to increase financing of national immunisation programmes.