Vaccination to become top issue in Brussels
In his State of the Union Speech, President Juncker mentioned growing vaccine hesitancy and supply shortages of vaccines. The decline in vaccination coverage in Europe, recent outbreaks of measles and claims of lower vaccination status of incoming migrants have all drawn political attention. Juncker spoke of a lack of reliable information as well as media controversies about vaccine safety, which have been pushed by anti-vaccination activists. Nevertheless, vaccination is still the most important tool for the primary prevention of diseases.
Public consultation to collect opinions
In December 2017, a public consultation will be run for 12 weeks. The consultation is open to citizens, patient organisations, the vaccine industry, associations for health professionals and others. The results of all consultation activities, as well as a recommendation aimed at providing guidance for better implementation of existing vaccination policy, are expected to be published in the second quarter of 2018.
Member States challenged
The national vaccination programmes of the Member States are faced with new challenges as a result of demographic change, migration, ageing, vaccine availability, high vaccine costs and limited national stockpiles. An overall concept for supporting, coordinating or supplementing the activities of Member States will now be developed. Alignment of national vaccination schedules in the EU is also a possible option.
More information is available here.