On the 2018 European Immunisation Week, the Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination launched the European Manifesto on Influenza Vaccination as a response to the burden of influenza in Europe.
Eight ambitious and engaged members* gathered their forces to increase seasonal influenza coverage rates in Europe and improve Europeans health outcomes and quality of life. And they were not the only ones to call for more action from EU institutions and national governments to tackle the issue of low vaccination rates.
Only one year after, the Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination is supported by over 30 associations representing patients and healthcare professionals across the EU. The Manifesto on Influenza Vaccination has been signed by over 200 individuals from over 24 countries. We are honoured to see that our joint effort and aspiration have been recognised by the EU institutions. In March 2019, we have been invited to join the Coalition for Vaccination, launched by the European Commission to gather healthcare professionals and health student associations to fight the vaccine hesitancy and increase trust in vaccination.
On this one-year anniversary of our Manifesto, during the 2019 European Immunisation Week, We, the Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination, are thrilled to see the political commitment at the EU level to address the low vaccines uptake across EU countries. We can only congratulate and further support the European Union is their upcoming work, such as the organisation of the High-level Summit on Vaccination together with the World Health Organisation in September 2019. We hope that the level of ambition will follow at all levels – national, regional and local ones.
*Members of the Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination:
- Prof. Thomas D. Szucs, Director of the European Centre of Pharmaceutical Medicine at University of Basel (Chair)
- Prof Susanna Esposito, President of the World Association for Infectious Diseases and Immunological Disorders (WAidid), Full Professor of Paediatrics, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Italy
- Dr Marco Goeijenbier, Internal Medicine Harbor Hospital, Institute for Tropical Diseases, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Member of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI)
- Ms Emilie Karafillakis, Research Fellow, the Vaccine Confidence Project, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
- Prof Sally Kendall, Chair, European Forum for Primary Care (EFPC), Professor of Community Nursing and Public Health, Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent
- Mr Ber Oomen, Executive Secretary of the European Specialist Nurses Organisations (ESNO)
- Ms Susanna Palkonen, Director at the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association (EFANET)
- Dr Julia Tainijoki- Seyer, Medical Advisor at the World Medical Association (WMA)
- Mr Jan De Belie, Director of Professional Affairs, Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU)