Original Article

Journal of Public Health

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 281-285

First online:

Improving vaccination programmes in the European Union

  • Pier Luigi LopalcoAffiliated withUnit for Scientific Advice, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Email author 

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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.


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.


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


Vaccination Immunisation schedule Health policy Decision-making European Union