Inform, protect, immunise: engaging underserved populationsArchived

4 Sep 2012 - 6 Sep 2012
Dublin, Ireland

Measles have re-emerged in the EU and the 2015 measles and rubella elimination target date set for Europe was looking progressively more challenging. The meeting aimed to find practical solutions to situation, especially within the WHO measles and rubella elimination target and facing economic crisis challenges.

Several countries experienced large measles outbreaks in 2010 and 2011 and the number of measles cases has quadrupled since 2008. ECDC's consultation meeting "Inform, protect, immunise: engaging underserved populations" provided a forum for discussion on how knowledge and experiences could be used to stimulate the use of preventive services in the area of communicable diseases.

The key meeting outcome is a list of possible interventions that could contribute to increasing vaccination uptake in the EU – what, for whom, by whom, when and how. 



Tuesday, 4 September

 18:00 – 19:00  

  • Welcome address - Karl Ekdahl, ECDC
  • Presentation of a measles video documentary
  • Vaccine preventable diseases in Europe – Pier Luigi Lopalco, ECDC

Wednesday, 5 September


9:00 – 10:00 Session 1: Opening speeches

  • Measles elimination – dream or reality What are the challenges – Marc Sprenger, ECDC Director
  • The immunisation puzzle: fitting all pieces reveals an immunisation programme that improves uptake – Antoon Gijsens, Unit SANCO C3
  • Measles and rubella elimination by 2015 – WHO/EURO – addressing the 3 Cs to boost vaccine uptake – Robb Butler, WHO/EURO

10:00 – 12:30 Session 2a: Sharing knowledge and experiences (I)

  • From evidence-based communication to behaviour change – Ülla-Karin Nurm, ECDC- country activities aimed at increasing vaccination uptake- evaluation mechanisms of measuring impact of vaccination- countries experience in designing and implementing the National traveller and/or Roma Integration Strategies

13:30 – 14:30 Session 2b: Sharing knowledge and experiences  (II)

14:30 – 15:30 Session 3: Building blocks for change

  • Shifting thinking – acting differently Vaccine communication practical guide – Irina Dinca, ECDC, Franklin Apfel, WHCA
  • Targeting Susceptibles with Tailored Immunisation Programmes – Robb Butler, WHO/EURO
  • Promovax project – Maria Grazia Dente, Italian National Institute of Health - Rome, Italy
  • Presentation of Romani CRISS project preliminary results – Marian Mandache, Romani CRISS
  • Review of activities in European countries to improve MMR vaccination coverage among under-protected population groups – Jolita Mereckiene, VENICE Project

15:45 – 17:15 Working groups: Adapt, Adopt and Use 17:15 – 17:45 Feedback to plenary  

Thursday, 6 September


9:15 – 10:00 Session 4: Round table – How can the European Commission contribute on addressing immunization issues among under-reached population groups

  • Hana Horka, Unit SANCO C4-Health determinants
  • Antoon Gijsens, Unit SANCO C3-Health threats

    10:00 – 10:15 The role of Primary Health Care for Traveller Projects and the Community Health Workers acting as liaison communicators between the Traveller community and the health services – Brigid Quirke and Mary Brigid Collins, Pavee Ireland 10:15 – 12:00 

  • Feedback from the free thinkers meeting – Tamsin Rose, Franklin Apfel
  • Working groups: 10 steps for innovative communication

12:00 – 12:30 Feedback to plenary

12:30 – 13:30 Session 5: What is next – meeting conclusions, next steps ClosureKarl Ekdahl, ECDC


Posters – Countries’ experiences



Intercultural mediation in health care Hamida ChikhiFoyer vzw, Belgium


From an outbreak of measles in some orthodox Jewish Communities in Antwerp to specific actions for undervaccinated groups in a new public health goal on vaccination for Flanders, BelgiumGeert Top Public Health Surveillance of Flanders; Control of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinations


Creation of community councils for zero unvaccinated children in Roma compact inhabited communitiesStefan Panayotov MDGeneral Practitioner and the Chairman of ”The Health of Roma” Foundation (Sliven, BG)

Project “Initiative for health and vaccination” in BulgariaDiliana DilkovaNational Network of the Health Mediators – Bulgaria

Czech Republic

Vaccine preventable infectious diseases in Roma population and in other ethnic minorities in the Czech RepublicHana Orlíková, Gabriela Kubátová, Radim Miklušák, Pavla Lexová, Kateřina Fabiánová


Paediatric care in a kindergarten for children from Romania in Frankfurt am Main, GermanyPeter Neumann MDMagistrat der Stadt Frankfurt am Main; Amt für Gesundheit


Actions of Support Center for Children and Family: ways to approach Roma population, aiming at improving their health status and quality of lifeAndreas Kyriakou, Agapi KyritsiSupport Center for Children and Family, Athens, Greece

Improvement of immunization status of Roma children after three years of Health Promotion and Health Education ProgramAndreas Kyriakou, Agapi Kyritsi Support Center for Children and Family, Athens, Greece


Hungarian experienceZsuzsanna Molnár MD and Gabriella Páll MDNational Center for Epidemiology and Association of Hungarian Primary Care Paediatricians


Local Access-Enabling Initiatives in the field of primary prevention addressing migrants in ItalyMaria Grazia Dente - Italian National Institute of Health - Rome, Italy

Medicins du monde

Access to vaccination of vulnerable populations in Europe - Experience of Medecins du MondeMedecins du Monde, France


Programme for the Roma community in PolandAgnieszka GajewskaDepartment of Denominations and National and Ethnic Minorities, Roma Minority DivisionMinistry of Administration and Digitization of Poland


How to reach “Hard-to-reach-populations”: local projects in Amadora Municipality, PortugalRafic Nordin, Catarina Portilheiro


Involving the Roma Health Mediator into the national program for immunization in the Roma communities in RomaniaViorica Gheorghiu, Gindrovel Dumitra, Ana-Maria Domiloiu


Activities aimed at increasing vaccination uptakeHelena HudecovaPublic Health Authority of the Slovak Republic

Incidence of measles in SlovakiaIveta Vaverkova,Slovak Society of GPs, Slovak Medical Society


MPR vaccination in SwedenAnn LindstrandSwedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control

The Netherlands

Vaccination coverage in children travelling with fairs in the NetherlandsW.L.M. Ruijs, J.L.A. Hautvast, I.Jansen, P. Oude Vrielink, J.van der Velden

United Kingdom

Country initiatives aimed at improving vaccination uptakeAileen KitchingHealth Protection Agency – Immunisation Department, Health Protection Services, Colindale, UK