The European Joint Action on Vaccination (EU‐JAV), coordinated by France (National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Inserm, with the support of the Ministry of Health and Solidarities), was launched on September 4, 2018 in Paris. The kick‐off meeting brought together the European Commission, health ministries, international policymakers and organisations, institutes, universities from 20 countries and a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society and manufacturers’ representatives, working on vaccination policy and health services.

Through its core mission of sharing tools for stronger national responses to vaccination challenges, the EU‐JAV aims at spurring long‐lasting European cooperation against vaccine‐preventable diseases in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations.

Immunization is one of the greatest biomedical and public health success stories of the 20th century and is estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to save 1 to 3 million lives every year. Yet, suboptimal uptake of recommended immunizations has increased over the past two decades and has resulted in the re‐emergence of infectious diseases such as measles on the European continent.

Building on existing initiatives, the EU‐JAV will develop common and durable systemic cooperation to build concrete tools useful for EU and non‐EU Member States’ health authorities. These include efficient mechanisms for interoperability of digital vaccine‐related data and robust methods of monitoring immunization programmes, accurate forecasting of vaccine needs through a concept of repository of vaccine supply and demand data, priority‐setting of vaccine research and development, information‐sharing on evidence regarding efficacy, risks and costs of vaccines, as well as best practices and interventions to improve confidence.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety welcomed the joint initiative: “We cannot stop infectious diseases at national borders therefore close collaboration and coordination is needed to ensure an efficient and timely response. We need a strategic and concerted approach to tackle the current challenges of vaccination uptake in the EU and neighbouring countries. The EU‐JAV is an important step towards implementing common solutions and creating a partnership to help save the lives of our citizens, particularly the most vulnerable groups such as children."

For Jérôme Salomon, Director General of Health, French Ministry for Solidarity and Health “It is our collective responsibility to build improved and long‐term coordination across Europe to overcome the immunization challenge for the sake of public health. The EU‐JAV offers this unique opportunity”.

The Joint Action is funded for 3 years with a total budget of EUR 5,800,000 including EUR 3,500,000 from the Health Programme of the European Union. 17 EU Member States are participating as partners, as well as Norway, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Collaborating stakeholders include many national and international organisations such as WHO, OECD, ECDC and EMA, universities, associations (e.g. EFPIA, EHMA, EPHA) and federations, who will share their expertise with the project and ensure coherence with ongoing initiatives.