Vaccines Europe Statement on Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union 

Vaccines Europe, representing vaccine companies of all sizes operating in Europe, welcomes the inclusion of vaccination as a high priority in the programme of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The decision to prioritise vaccination, with a particular focus on confidence and misinformation, represents a very positive signal and an opportunity to shift the policy focus at the EU and national level towards more sustainable immunisation programmes. 

Vaccines are one of the greatest public health preventative tools, saving millions of lives every year1 and contributing to the sustainability of healthcare systems2. The COVID-19 vaccines alone, in their first year of implementation, saved nearly 20 million lives globally3.  

In  the  EU, routine immunisation across the life course could protect the population against 20 life-threatening infectious diseases, yet there is significant discrepancy in the vaccinations offered to citizens across the EU, ranging from 8 to 17 publicly funded vaccines depending on the country4. Almost  80% of European governments spend less than 0.5% of their healthcare budget on immunisation programmes5

In view of this evidence of public health value, we urge that vaccination and immunisation programmes are further developed across Europe and given high priority in the broader arsenal of prevention policies and budgets

We, therefore, call on the Czech Presidency to: 

  • Ensure the expert conference on vaccination, to be organised by the Czech Presidency, is open to experts from various backgrounds, including the industry; 
  • Ensure the programme of the expert conference on vaccination considers the topics of adult immunisation and immunisation financing; 
  • Take into consideration the recommendations from the recent EU-Joint Action on Vaccination;  
  • Acknowledge the central role played by routine immunisation at all stages of life, including adult immunisation in drafting the Council Conclusions on vaccination. 

1 Ozawa, S. et al (2017). Estimated economic impact of vaccinations in 73 low and middle-income countries, 2001–2020. Bulletin World Health Organisation. Vol. 95.: 629-638.

2 World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. (‎2019)‎. TIP: tailoring immunization programmes. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

3 Watson, O. et al (2022). Global impact of the first year of COVID-19 vaccination: a mathematical modelling study, The Lancet.  

4 Ethgen O, Rémy V and Wargo K (2018). Vaccination budget in Europe: an update, Hum Vaccin Immunother. Vol. 14(12): 2911–2915.

5 Faivre P et al (2021). Immunization funding across 28 European countries, Expert Rev Vaccines. 20(6):639-647.