On the 22 November 2011, ECDC organised a workshop at the European Parliament to provide policy makers with more information on the facts about seasonal influenza vaccination and on ECDC’s contributions to the implementation of the 2009 Council Recommendation on this subject.
The workshop – co-hosted by Marina Yannakoudakis MEP and Karin Kadenbach MEP – provided a good opportunity to present expert views from the European Commission and ECDC as well national perspectives. The Romanian State secretary in the Ministry of Health, Prof. Dr. Adrian Streinu-Cercel, delivered a keynote speech on how Romania is trying to overcome barriers to seasonal influenza vaccination.
ECDC Director Marc Sprenger reminded participants that getting vaccinated is the single most effective thing that people can do to protect themselves, and others, from influenza.
ECDC Influenza Coordinator Prof. Angus Nicoll presented new data from the VENICE project on how vaccination coverage has progressed across the EU countries in relation to the target set by EU Ministers. The data shows that contrary to some expectations vaccine coverage held up well in most countries since the pandemic. On the other hand, many countries need to improve their strategies to reach their own agreed target.
ECDC is committed to working with the Commission and the Member States to support the implementation of the 2009 Recommendation and is currently working on a number of projects aiming at fulfilling the targets set by the Council. In particular:
- Development of a Monitoring Framework for use by Member States and the European Commission in evaluating progress on implementation of the Recommendation;
- Produce evidence based advice on risk groups for seasonal influenza vaccination;
- Monitoring seasonal influenza vaccine coverage and national policies and practices - VENICE II;
- Measure of influenza vaccine effectiveness in the EU - I-MOVE network;
- Rapid EU level investigation of putative adverse events observed from Monitoring of vaccine safety by EMA & Member States – VAESCO project;
- Training to support development of national Public Health Programmes on Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza;
- Development of an Influenza Communication Toolkit;
- Developing EU expertise in the role of behavioural aspects and health communication in preventing and mitigating the impact of influenza and informing all Member States of good practices in other states;
- Using and developing influenza surveillance to inform on the burden of mild, moderate and severe disease;
- Providing regular updates for the concerned influenza community on scientific advances, influenza new and public health developments.
More on this topic:
Seasonal influenza health topic site
ECDC event 22 November, Workshop on Seasonal Influenza Vaccination: Read more about the event and see the presentations