Influenza Season 2019 – 2020 has started. When? No one knows, as the virus is unpredictable. While influenza spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one season to another.
To fight the unpredictable, we need to act together. For the last two years, I was honoured to be leading the Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination in their mission to unify the European healthcare community around the shared goals in influenza vaccination and advocating for increased uptake of influenza vaccination. As an Honourable Chair, I will continue to support the initiative in moving forward.
Vaccines work and save life. 3.2 million cases of influenza could be avoided if 75% influenza vaccine coverage is achieved. I am pleased to see the momentum around the vaccination policies and the joint efforts by the European institutions and the World Health Organization. Yet, we can, and we should do more – especially around the influenza and adult vaccination, which is being missed in the current political debates.
Last year, the European Parliament, and I, have called on the European Commission to establish a ‘European influenza vaccination day’. We need this day to launch the annual vaccination campaigns and remind people that the influenza season has started, and they should get vaccinated.
This year, I call on my successors, new Member of the European Parliament to step up to the challenge and continue the great work that has been achieved in the influenza vaccination space. It is our shared responsibility to respond to the burden of influenza in Europe.
Let’s show again that #EUfightingFlu.
Member of the European Parliament (2014 – 2019)
Honourable Chair of the Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination”