A new European project to improve equitable vaccine uptake by strengthening collaboration between healthcare professionals, public health authorities, the media and local communities has launched. IMMUNION will contribute to and complement wider EU vaccination efforts through delivering better education to health professionals and better information to the general public. 

Effectively communicating evidence-based information about vaccination in ways that build trust and reduce the spread of misinformation has rarely been more critical. IMMUNION (“Improving IMMunisation cooperation in the European UNION”) has been built to meet these needs. 

During its two-year lifetime, IMMUNION will contribute to EU efforts to improve vaccine uptake by providing education and training to health professionals – represented by the members of the Coalition for Vaccination – on how to effectively communicate about vaccination with their patients and the media. The project will also develop tools and resources to increase vaccine coverage, in particular amongst underserved populations. 

The project is coordinated by EuroHealthNet and will support the Coalition for Vaccination, ensuring that health professionals across Europe benefit from the work the Coalition is doing. IMMUNION will:
  • Share validated vaccination training materials and resources with health professionals and students across Europe; 
  • Strengthen the existing Coalition for Vaccination and its long-term sustainability and visibility; 
  • Develop and provide training opportunities for health professionals and students on vaccination communication; 
  • Enhance collaboration between public health institutions, health professionals and the media and foster evidence-based reporting on vaccination; 
  • Increase understanding of the drivers of vaccine inequalities and address vaccination coverage issues in vulnerable and underserved populations.
"The Coalition for Vaccination is excited to be supported by IMMUNION. The Coalition is a rather new initiative, bringing together European associations of healthcare professionals and students´ associations, and through IMMUNION it will become further consolidated. This will enable coalition members to effectively promote accurate information on vaccination, combat myths and exchange best practices" (EFN, CPME, PGEU - Co-chairs of the Coalition for Vaccination)

“Vaccination is a crucial tool for public health and health equity. The collaboration of health professionals with community leaders, influencers and the media in a “whole-of-society” approach is a cornerstone of effective outreach to underserved populations,” said Alison Maassen, Programme Manager EuroHealthNet, and Project Manager of IMMUNION. 

IMMUNION and its partners will bring together evidence-based materials on vaccines for health professionals via a web-based platform and will provide training opportunities for health professionals and students via train-the-trainers workshops and webinars. Additionally, the project will develop national toolboxes of promising practices to increase vaccine uptake in underserved communities and improve overall equity in vaccination.