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Vaccines and Immunization


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Council conclusions on vaccinations as an effective tool in public health


On 1 December 2014, the Council of Health Ministers released its conclusions regarding vaccinations as an effective tool in public health. They invite national governments and the European Commission (EC) to increase information exchanges with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to focus on risk groups, and convey informed and clear messages on vaccination. The EPSCO conclusions adopted under the Italian Presidency - which (...)
17/12/2014

[Press release] European Antibiotic Awareness Day: Fighting ‘superbugs’ to save lives


Brussels, 18 November – Today marks the 7th European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) (1) which promotes a more prudent use of antibiotics to tackle the growing challenge of multi-drug resistant ‘superbugs’ (2). Around 25,000 patients die every year in the European Union (EU) as a result of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance will lead to significant health service savings since related costs amount to (...)
20/11/2014

5th ESWI Influenza Conference highlights benefits of vaccination


The fifth international influenza conference organised by EPHA member the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI) took place in Riga on 14-17 September. A number of plenary and ’science/policy interface’ sessions examined the issue of low vaccination uptake in many Member States, as well as other issues related to pandemic preparedness and communication aspects of influenza-related health threats. In the opening plenary, ’Why should influenza be a public (...)
26/09/2014

Public Health priorities of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union


The Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union outlined its priorities and main events in the field of public health to the Working Party on Public Health. Despite not managing a legislative dossier for which the group would be competent, developments in the pipeline are relevant for civil society engagement. Inspired by the Third Union Programme for Action in the field of health (2014-2020), EU Health Strategy, World Health Organization reports, reflection processes on (...)
08/08/2014

Medicines shortages in Europe: A disconcerting operational and communication challenge


The issue of medicine supply shortages has been highlighted by EPHA and its members throughout 2013, and it once again took centre stage at a recent workshop organised by the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP). Already in winter, a common position on the issue has been drafted by members of the European Medicine Agency’s Patients’ and Consumers’ / Healthcare Professionals Working Party. 2014 EAHP Congress, Barcelona The 19th annual EAHP (...)
24/05/2014

Keeping Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) on the radar screen, year-round


The global problem of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) demands the continuous attention of the public health community beyond the annual focus of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (marked annually on 18 November). EPHA is committed to raising awareness of AMR-related concerns, including the reduction of antibiotics use, to ensure that people living in Europe can continue to benefit from life-saving antibiotics. Moreover, it is important to promote policy coherence, as well as effective, (...)
22/05/2014

European Commission report reveals unmet flu vaccination targets


A new European Commisssion report published in January 2014 uncovers that most EU countries are falling short of flu vaccination targets. Of 18 Member States that provided data on seasonal influenza vaccination, only one managed to reach the target for the older age priority group; moreover, data was scarce for other priority groups. A number of barriers identified in the report indicate the need for further reflection and discussion of seasonal flu vaccination involving all stakeholders (...)
22/01/2014

Fifth European Scientific Working group on Influenza (ESWI) Influenza Conference in Riga, Latvia (14 -17 September)


The European Scientific Working group on Influenza (ESWI) invites you to join other scientists and public health officials at the Fifth ESWI Influenza Conference in Riga, Latvia, on 14 -17 September 2014. The aim of the conference is to discuss the most recent advances in influenza research, control, prevention and treatment, while a tailor-made programme for public health officials will cover the entire spectrum of influenza policy making. Announcement REGISTER for the Fifth ESWI (...)
13/01/2014

Two new influenza publications & Save the Date 5th Influenza Conference


The European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI) has released two new publications which will be of interest for readers with an interest in health systems, in particular health threats and pandemic preparedness. The FluQuest report is an account of the ESWI workshop held on 3 May where the outcomes of the ESWI survey on pandemic preparedness in Europe were shared and placed into context. The second document is the report of the ESWI Flu Summit that was held on the previous day (...)
17/09/2013

European Immunization Week 2013: Prevent - Protect - Immunize


As the European Immunization Week unfolds (22-27 April 2013), it is worth to re-emphasise immunization as a cost-effective public health preventive measure. It is particularly true in times of economic crisis and public spending cuts affecting essential health services needed to prevent the re-emergence of communicable diseases in Europe (and elsewhere). On an annual basis, for one week in April, all countries across the European Region unite under the European Immunization Week’s (...)
24/04/2013