Working to Increase Influenza Vaccination Rates in All Age Groups Across Europe

The role of healthcare professionals in advocating influenza vaccination is crucial in increasing seasonal flu vaccine uptake to over 75% across all age groups in Europe. The latest surge in influenza infections has been notable, marked by a significant increase in respiratory illnesses. This surge is a crucial concern for public health, particularly in the context of the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19. The convergence of influenza with other respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and RSV has made monitoring and responding to these infections more important than ever.

Healthcare systems, already strained by the pandemic, are now facing the added burden of increased influenza cases. This situation underscores the importance of vaccinations, not just for COVID-19 but also for influenza.

As healthcare professionals, our advocacy for influenza vaccination is crucial in achieving several key objectives the Influenza Working Group sets forth. These goals include increasing seasonal flu vaccine uptake to over 75% across all age groups in Europe, promoting school-based vaccination programs for children, ensuring budget allocation for funded programs targeting those over 50 and vulnerable groups, and improving vaccine access, supply, and acceptance among the 18-50 age group. Additionally, emphasizing the importance of avoiding flu-related hospitalizations to maintain health system capacity during winter is vital. You are also encouraged to get vaccinated each season and promote vaccinations in every consultation. Your efforts are essential in safeguarding public health and maintaining healthcare resilience.

  • Elevate Influenza Vaccine Uptake: Strive to surpass a 75% vaccination rate across all age groups throughout Europe, focusing on comprehensive coverage.

  • School-Aged Children Vaccination: Promote the widespread implementation of school-based influenza vaccination programs for all school-aged children in Europe.

  • Budget Protection for Vulnerable Groups: Secure and safeguard funding for influenza vaccination programs, especially for individuals over 50 and other vulnerable populations.

  • Enhance Access for Ages 18-50: Improve the availability, supply, and public acceptance of seasonal influenza vaccines specifically targeting the 18-50 age group.

  • Prevent Hospital Overload: Emphasize the importance of reducing influenza-related hospitalizations to maintain the capacity and resilience of health systems, especially during the winter season.

  • Healthcare Professional Advocacy: Encourage all healthcare professionals to receive annual influenza vaccinations and to promote vaccination during patient consultations actively.


Members and Participating Organisations

Timo Vesikari (Nordic Research Network) ● Elisabeth Sanders (Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) ● Hanna Noynek (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) ● Paolo Bonanni (University of Florence) ● Gary Finnegan (Vaccines Today) ● Jess McNamara (European Pharmaceutical Students' Associations) ● George Syrogiannopoulos (University of Thessaly) ● Barbara Rath (Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative) ● Anna Odone (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan) ● Daniela Quaggia (Networking Active Citizenship Network) ● Peggy Maguire (European Institute of Women’s Health) ● Roy Philip (University of Limerick, Ireland) ● Catherine Weil Olivier (Paris VII University) ● Elena Moya (Confederation of Meningitis Organizations) ● Dace Zavadska (Children Clinical University Hospital, Riga) ● Mihai Craiu (Carol Davila University of Medicine, Romania) ● Roman Prymula (Charles University, Czech Republic ● Valtýr Thors (University of Iceland) ● Mirjam Knol (Institute of Public health and the Environment, Netherlands) ● Jane Barratt (International Federation on Ageing) ● Tracey Chantler (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) ● Conall Watson (UK Health Security Agency) ● Mira Kojouharova (National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Bulgaria) ● Hanna Noynek (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) ● Simon de Lusignan (Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre,) ● Steffen Amann (European Association of Hospital Pharmacists) ● Tilen Kozole (European Pharmaceutical Students' Association) ● Radovan Bogdanovic (Paediatric Association of Serbia) ● Gertraud Daye (NGO Committee on Ageing, UN) ● Lieke Sanders (Institute of Public health and the Environment, Netherlands) ● Elena Moya (Confederation of Meningitis Organizations) ● Philippe de Wals (Laval University, Quebec, Canada) ● Carlo Signorelli (University Vita-Salute San Raffaele of Milan)  ● Kare Molbak (Statens Serum Institut, Denmark)





Action Plans and Reports

Based on all the work and collaboration between the Working Groups in the Expert mapping surveys and the Working Group Meetings organised each year, the reports include Observations, Challenges, Strategies and Suggested Campaigns/Actions for each barrier or observation. Working alongside partners and supporters, we will tackle as many areas as possible and conduct as many proposed actions to overcome barriers to vaccination uptake.