Steering Group calls for action in fighting influenza

Rachel Cresswell 12 March 2018

The Steering Group on Influenza Vaccination has released their Manifesto calling for more action to increase seasonal influenza vaccination coverage rates in Europe to reduce the unacknowledged burden of this disease.

The Steering Group has outlined their recommendations for strategies to improve influenza vaccination coverage rates across Europe. It’s calling for EU and national policy-makers, communities and organisations that represent people most impacted by influenza to increase influenza vaccination coverage in three ways: highlighting the burden of influenza and the role of vaccination; increasing awareness of influenza and improving public trust in vaccination; and improving the exchange of good practice and inter-professional collaboration at local and European level.

The Group is led by co-chairs Françoise Grossetête, Member of the European Parliament and Prof Thomas Szucs, Director, European Centre of Pharmaceutical Medicine at University of Basel and is made up of eight other representatives including patient groups, healthcare professionals and academics.

Influenza is a life-threatening disease affecting 5-10% of the world’s population annually and resulting in over 650,000 deaths. It is particularly dangerous for vulnerable groups of people such as the elderly, children and those with chronic medical conditions. Influenza vaccination plays a key role in reducing this burden and in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, another priority for EU institutions, by reducing the incidence of viral infections and decreasing antibiotic prescriptions. Seasonal influenza vaccination coverage rates remain low and are declining in many European countries.

Read the Manifesto in full at


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