, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 281-285
Date: 14 Jun 2008

Improving vaccination programmes in the European Union

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Abstract

Aim

In this article, we describe what the role of the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) is and should be in supporting national vaccination programmes and improving the exchange of data and best practice.

Subjects and methods

On the basis of information provided to the ECDC by two networks (EUVAC, VENICE) as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) data, we examine childhood vaccination programmes in the European Union (EU), components of national vaccination programmes, and decision-making processes both at regulatory (EU) and epidemiological, socio-economic (national) levels.

Results

The ECDC provides added value to national vaccination policies by sharing data in the areas of epidemiology, vaccination coverage, vaccine schedules and schemes, and evaluation of national programmes.

Conclusion

National sovereignty in the field of vaccination policy should prevail; however, international support is paramount if we wish to enhance performance by sharing experience.