EU announces vaccines initiative 'roadmap'

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has welcomed a European Commission (EC) 'roadmap' that recommends strengthened cooperation against vaccine preventable diseases, which was launched on 4 December. 

In the report, the EC notes that vaccination programmes across Europe face major challenges that include declining coverage, supply shortages, and growing vaccine hesitancy. These challenges are hard to address, as vaccination programmes are planned, organised, and conducted very differently across member states.

... vaccination programmes across Europe face major challenges that include declining coverage, supply shortages, and growing vaccine hesitancy

Therefore, to decrease the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases, the EC is seeking to reach agreement among member states to strengthen cooperation and coordination between EU countries, industry and other relevant stakeholders. This will help increase vaccination coverage, foster the alignment of vaccination schedules across the EU, promote vaccine acceptance, support vaccine research and strengthen vaccine supply, procurement and stock management, especially in cases of emergency.

Commenting on the roadmap, Dr Andrew Goddard, RCP registrar, said: 

The RCP welcomes the European Commission’s roadmap to strengthen cooperation against vaccine preventable diseases. The UK is a leader in the areas of vaccine research and uptake of vaccination to improve public health and strongly supports initiatives to raise standards in the EU.

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