EU focuses on vaccination for preventable diseases

The rise of anti-vaccination campaigns on social media is, according to health campaigners, one of the biggest causes of the comeback of diseases like measles in Europe.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recently released data showing that substantial increases were seen in a number of states last year, including Poland, Lithuania, and Slovakia.

Because of this, the group Vaccines Europe – which is made of experts from the industry – has highlighted the need for a greater focus to be placed on encouraging vaccinations.

The group recently launched a new manifesto. In this, the group say that the EU needs to look at ways of bringing rates of vaccination back to previous levels, and member states should concentrate on initiatives and national vaccination programmes.

According to the WHO, 72 people died in the European region last year from measles. A representative said: “The picture for 2018 makes it clear that the current pace of progress in raising immunization rates will be insufficient to stop measles circulation. We must do more and do it better to protect each and every person from diseases that can be easily avoided.”

At a conference President of Vaccines Europe, Pascale Mauran noted: “EU leaders have a critical role to play by building on the 2017-2019 momentum on vaccination and supporting the implementation of the goals laid out in the Council Recommendation in the EU member states.”

At the Commission’s Coalition on Vaccination meeting, EU health chief Vytenis Andriukaitis spoke to healthcare workers and other relevant researchers about the importance of awareness when it comes to dealing with diseases that can be prevented by vaccination

He said: . “By being the first interlocutors in delivering correct information on vaccination to their patients, the role of healthcare workers in making the lives of all of us safer is immense.”

In the recommendations, it’s advised that progress should be measured and reported on a regular basis in order to measure how different member states are performing, and whether they are reaching their vaccination targets. This should be “based on indicators agreed with member states and on information from other relevant sources”.

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