Seasonal influenza vaccination recommendations and coverage rates in EU/EEA Member States

Surveillance and monitoring

An overview of vaccination recommendations for 2021-22 and coverage rates for the 2018–19 to 2020–21 influenza seasons

Executive Summary

In 2009, the Recommendation by the Council of the European Union set an objective for EU Member States to achieve a 75% vaccination coverage rate (VCR) with the seasonal influenza vaccine by the 2014􀃭15 influenza season in key target groups, such as older individuals, and those at risk of more severe disease. The recommendation also encouraged Member States to improve VCRs among healthcare workers.

The main objective of the ECDC-funded network ‘Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort’ (VENICE) that ran between 2006 and 2017 was to strengthen best practices related to vaccination and support the dissemination of knowledge in vaccination programmes. During the period 2008-2018, several studies were undertaken by the VENICE network on the description of influenza vaccination policies and the monitoring of influenza vaccination coverage.

Using and adapting the annual influenza vaccination coverage survey previously conducted under the ECDC-funded VENICE project, our aim was to describe specific-country recommendations during the 2021-22 influenza season, identify changes compared to the 2017􀃭18 season, and describe trends in influenza VCRs during the 2018􀃭19, 2019􀃭20 and 2020􀃭21 influenza seasons. The idea was to provide an update on seasonal influenza vaccination programmes in EU/EEA countries, and to assess the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic might have had an impact on uptake of seasonal influenza vaccines. Of the 30 EU/EEA countries invited to participate in the survey, 26 completed the questionnaire. We performed a desk review of national public health agency websites for the four missing countries.