Fourth meeting on use of vaccines for prevention of influenza

9 Apr 2014

The objective for this meeting between ECDC and influenza vaccine manufacturers was to share latest information on influenza disease monitoring including severe disease, monitoring of seasonal influenza vaccination programmes in the EU and new technical developments for improved influenza vaccines.

As each year, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and representatives of influenza vaccine manufacturers meet at ECDC in Stockholm for a regular scheduled meeting about the use of vaccines for prevention of influenza.

During the meeting, developments in surveillance of influenza mortality and severe disease were discussed, focusing on the methods and indicators provided e.g. by the EuroMOMO network. Participants of the meeting welcomed further work on improving presentation of influenza surveillance data in Europe.

Monitoring of vaccination coverage in support of the EU Council Recommendation of December 2009 was presented. Based on VENICE data and additional surveys, ECDC has produced a technical report that provides data on vaccination policies and strategies, vaccination coverage data, and data on barriers to vaccination for seasonal influenza in the EU/EEA countries. A separate report on drivers and barriers to influenza vaccination is available.

To support communication campaigns by EU/EEA countries, ECDC has prepared a customisable communication toolkit on seasonal influenza vaccination targeting health care workers offering seasonal influenza vaccines. These and other informational aides on ECDC website were presented, and further work in support of health care workers communicating with the populations targeted for vaccination was welcomed by participants.

Developments in evaluating influenza vaccine effectiveness in the EU were discussed. ECDC has published a call for a four-year framework contract in the area of monitoring influenza vaccine effectiveness.

The challenge of maintaining production capacity while vaccine coverage rates are declining in Europe was identified by Vaccines Europe. It was concluded that EU leadership is vital in providing guidance and advice in support of immunisation programmes, innovative vaccines, communication on vaccine preventable diseases, and improved monitoring of vaccine coverage and attitudes.

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