In recent years, substantial progress had been made towards eliminating measles, mumps and rubella in Europe. Measles vaccine coverage is on the rise and measles cases decreasing in many countries. However, there have still been several large outbreaks of measles, mumps and rubella reported in European countries. In order to meet the WHO European Region target date for the elimination of endemic measles and rubella by 2015 it will be necessary to achieve and sustain a very high vaccination coverage (=95%), with two doses of measles and at least one dose of rubella vaccine through high-quality, routine immunisation services.
A decline in immunisation rates in some countries or regions can be attributed to a rise in scepticism towards vaccination; increasing migration and population movement; a growing community of hard-to-reach populations and literacy and language problems among migrant or ethnic groups.
The aim of this Venice II project was to report on activities being undertaken to monitor and improve MMR vaccination coverage among hard-to-reach population groups in European countries, building upon previous work done by the VENICE II project on barriers to MMR immunisation.
The objective was to describe measles, mumps and rubella outbreaks reported over the last two decades, to provide information on MMR vaccination coverage and to describe known barriers to MMR vaccination among hard-to-reach population groups in EU countries