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Vaccines and Immunization


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[EVENT REPORT] Pharma Pollution: An ignored cause of Antimicrobial Resistance


As the European Commission undertakes its evaluation of the expiring Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), the joint EPHA - Health Care Without Harm Europe (HCWH) event of 10 December called for a much stronger consideration of the environmental dimension of AMR. A detailed event report is now available. The event was hosted by MEPs Martin Häusling (Greens, Germany) and Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE, SWE). Both MEPs underlined the need for urgent action, with MEP Selimovic concluding (...)
02/03/2016

European Health and Agriculture Ministers call for EU action on Antimicrobial Resistance


On 10 February 2016, European Ministers of Health and Agriculture were invited by the Netherlands Presidency of the EU Council to a Ministerial Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Amsterdam. The Ministers discussed the scale and urgency of the crisis facing health systems around the world. For the fight against AMR to be successful, the most important element is coordinated international action, not least at the EU level. Dutch Minister of Agriculture Martijn van Dam made it (...)
02/03/2016

New EPHA report calls for universal access to childhood vaccination


EPHA’s new report on Access to Childhood Vaccination emphasises the importance of ensuring free and equal access to immunisation for all children in Europe no matter their legal or economic status. Issues pertaining to access to vaccinations were also stressed at the first Science-Policy Flu Summit organised by EPHA members the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI). Focus on Childhood Vaccination The report discusses the barriers to parents being fully informed and (...)
07/12/2015

Childhood vaccination: Neglected tool to counter measles outbreaks?


Over 22,000 people were infected with measles across the EU in 2014 and 2015, including one measles-related death. The only effective preventive measure against measles remains vaccination. The recent outbreaks suggest a growing number of susceptible people are not being vaccinated. The reasons for this are varied, including a growing number of parents who are reluctant to vaccinate their children and increasing barriers of access to vaccination. To avoid further such outbreaks, it is thus (...)
02/07/2015

AMR’s multiple dimensions call for action on all fronts


The June Uppsala Health Summit (UHS), ‘A World Without Antibiotics’ expanded the discussion about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at European and national level by examining this critical health threat from different angles. Among the key themes discussed were access to antibiotics and to improved diagnostics, the environmental dimension of AMR, collaborative research & innovation, and economic models allowing pharma companies to balance profits and investments for the public (...)
02/07/2015

WHA adopts resolutions on AMR and immunization


On 25 May 2015, the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) - the supreme decision-making body of WHO which convenes annually in Geneva - agreed resolutions to tackle antimicrobial resistance and improve access to affordable vaccines. Tackling antimicrobial drug resistance The global importance and seriousness of AMR was highlighted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who told delegates on the opening day that addressing AMR is one of the highest health priorities for the world. Following a (...)
31/05/2015

Joint Procurement of medical countermeasures: A Solidarity Tool?


On 29 April 2015, Public Health England organised a workshop for the European Commission in Luxembourg on the joint procurement of medical countermeasures, which featured a host of speakers from different Commission Directorate Generals, EMA, ECDC, WHO, and industry. One of the key messages was that the new Joint Procurement Agreement (JPA) tool is potentially available for many different countermeasures as long as they fall into the legal framework of serious cross-border health threats. (...)
29/04/2015

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