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14 Mar 2011

The success of vaccination programmes has resulted in a significant decline of many infectious diseases across Europe over the years. But this achievement is directly linked to a high vaccination coverage. However, there are still many challenges in the EU illustrated by the WHO European Region goal to eliminate measles and rubella in Europe by 2010 which has not been met.

In his speech at the expert meeting “For a healthy future of our children – childhood immunisation” in Budapest in March, the ECDC Director summed up the merits and challenges of vaccination programmes in Europe: 

  • European immunisation programmes are a success in communicable disease control
  • There are barriers to universal vaccination coverage
  • Health service providers need better access to information on the different vaccines and national schedules
  • Vaccines scares can lead to an impact on vaccine uptake
  • Social media on the internet is increasingly influencing the public
  • Data for action is paramount

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