Adoption of the Council Recommendation on strengthened cooperation against vaccine preventable diseases

On the 7th December 2018, Health Ministers from the European Union adopted a recommendation from the European Commission to fight vaccine preventable diseases.

This Council Recommendation on strengthened cooperation against vaccine preventable diseases was first proposed by the European Commission in April 2018 in response to insufficient vaccination coverage, vaccine shortages and outbreaks of infectious diseases such as measles and rubella on the European continent. It focuses on three main pillars:

  • To tackle vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccination coverage by strengthening dialogue with citizens, understanding their genuine concerns and doubts about vaccination and by adequately addressing these issues, on the basis of individual needs.
  • To implement sustainable vaccination policies in the EU: complement and reinforce national policies in all Member States while taking into account their different starting points (as regards to immunisation policies, institutional set-up, regional differences, and healthcare capacities), develop common methodologies and guidelines for a core EU vaccination schedule, and foster partnerships and research between EU infrastructures.
  • To reinforce EU Coordination and contribution to global health: increase public health security, reduce inequalities between Member States, and improve the security of vaccine supply.

The European Commission will convene a “Coalition for Vaccination” which will bring together European associations of healthcare workers as well as relevant student’s associations in the field to commit to delivering accurate information to the public, combatting myths and exchanging best practices.

The European Joint Action on Vaccination, which was part of the initial proposition from the European Commission, will be instrumental to deliver on the objectives of the Council Recommendation.


Author: Clara Pichard, Public Health intern

8 February 2019