Seasonal influenza poses a significant but often under-recognised challenge to national health systems across Europe. Despite influenza vaccines being available for decades, influenza still has one of the highest and recurring impacts in terms of incidence and mortality among vaccine-preventable diseases and is estimated to cause up to 70,000 deaths in the EU each year, particularly among older adults and other at-risk groups.
The Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination is a group of academics, scientists, healthcare workers and civic society, advocating for increased flu vaccine uptake in Europe.
The Steering Group (SG) was first convened in November 2017, made up of experts in the field of influenza vaccination. The Steering Group includes policymakers, patient group representatives, clinicians, and industry representatives. The Steering Group launched an EU Manifesto on Influenza Vaccination in 2019.
Every year, the Steering Group drives the EU Flu Day campaign which kicked off in 2020. The campaign raises awareness on the importance of increasing influenza vaccine uptake, particularly during COVID-19, to meet the 75% target for at risk groups.
The Co-Chairs of the Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination are:
Acumen Public Affairs acts as the Secretariat of the Steering Group and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination brings together 9 organisations representing healthcare professionals, scientists, academics, civic society organisations and industry, aiming to drive influenza vaccination uptake in Europe. Each year, the Steering Group organises an awareness raising campaign on the importance of influenza vaccination, using the hashtag #EUFluDay on social media. Members include:
We are also supporting efforts to establish a Flu Alliance, which is a more informal coalition of like-minded organisations at country level across Europe. The aim is for this to be a forum that connects organisations within countries for cooperation towards common goals, as well as providing a cross-border platform for dialogue for national coalitions, allowing them to share knowledge and best practices.
On 14 October 2020, the first annual EU Flu Day was launched. The campaign seeks to highlight the importance of seasonal flu vaccination, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and to address challenges for sustainable increase of flu vaccine coverage rates in Europe as a critical public health measure for healthcare systems sustainability.
It is a call to action for European citizens –particularly healthcare workers and at-risk groups –to make them aware of the need to be vaccinated against flu, in order to protect themselves, those around them as well as alleviating the stress on national health care systems. The campaign is being organised with the support of Vaccines Europe and spearheaded by Dolors Montserrat, a leading Member of the European Parliament (EPP, Spain) and Co-Chair of the Health Working Group. MEP Montserrat is also a former Minister of Health in Spain.
EU Flu Day 2022
EU Flu Day 2021
EU Flu Day 2020