ECDC has published Vaccination coverage rates for seasonal influenza continue to lag behind. Click through to download the full report. Excerpt:
Reaching high influenza vaccination coverage rates for those at risk of developing severe complications due to influenza infection remains a considerable challenge, concludes a new ECDC report that provides an overview of seasonal influenza vaccination policies and vaccination coverage rates in the EU/EEA for the 2012–13 influenza season.
This report is based on a survey of 31 Member States, conducted in collaboration with the Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort III (VENICE III). Where feasible, data for the 2012-13 influenza season are compared to results of the previous influenza season, 2011-12.
Vaccination remains the most effective public health intervention to mitigate and prevent seasonal influenza. In 2009, the European Council adopted a recommendation that influenza vaccination coverage in at-risk groups should reach 75% in all EU countries by the 2014–15 influenza season.
Results of the survey show that it is common for European countries to have recommendations for seasonal influenza vaccination for targeted or at-risk groups, such as older people, pregnant women, those with chronic medical conditions and healthcare workers.
At the same time, vaccination coverage rates for various target groups vary widely across Europe. For example, vaccination coverage rates for older age groups vary from 1% to 77%, with only a handful of countries reaching or nearly reaching the 75% goal set by the Council Recommendation.
With a few exceptions, this rate is stagnant or even decreasing compared to data from the previous season. A similarly wide range of vaccination coverage rates, from 9.5% to 75%, can be observed for the 13 countries reporting vaccination rates among healthcare workers.