Lunch symposium: How can we join forces to engage in multi-stakeholder actions to reach optimal influenza Vaccination Coverage Rates in Europe?

Thursday 21 November, 12:30 - 13:30, Room Endoume 1


Organised by:

EUPHA with support from Sanofi


Each year WHO outlines that epidemics and outbreaks of influenza trigger up to half a million deaths worldwide. In Europe, almost 30% of the burden of communicable diseases in Europe is due to influenza and an average of 40,000 people die due to influenza. It has been demonstrated that a large part of this burden could be avoided by higher influenza Vaccinatioin Coverage Rates (VCR) reaching the WHO/EU 75% target. Current influenza VCR in EU range from 2% (Estonia) to 73% (UK) and countries face difficulties in reversing the trend post-2009 pandemic year. While vaccines policies remain a national competence, the EU has been steering with the adoption of the EU Council Recommendation in December 2018 to strengthen the EU cooperation on vaccine-preventable diseases. This initiative, amongst other demonstrates the timely opportunity to strengthen the teaming-up approach to implement national vaccination plans with initiatives to improve coverages and thereby population health outcome.

Chair: Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, President EUPHA

Keynote speaker: Martin McKee, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, presents the recent Report on Organisation and Delivery of Vaccination Services, prepared for the European Commission. 


  • George Kassianos, General Practitioner and National Immunisation Lead Royal College of General Practitioners, United Kingdom
  • Litjen Tan, Chief Strategy Officer, Immunization Action Coalition, United States
  • Anne-Sophie Joly, Présidente du collectif national des associations d’obèses (projet vaccination grippe), France
  • Rute Horta, Associação Nacional das Farmácias, Portugal
  • Florence Baron Papillon, Sanofi Pasteur


The lunch symposium aims to share multi-country and multi-stakeholder perspectives to commit on actions to improve Vaccination Coverage Rates (VCR) in Europe, focusing on the case of influenza.

Martin McKee will set the scene with the outcome of the recent Report on the Organisation and Delivery of Vaccination Services in the European Union. This will be the basis for the discussion on the status of where actions are needed to improve VCR in influenza. From there, stakeholders active in countries with high levels of influenza VCR will share some insights on key pillars of their ‘successful’ immunization systems triggering also broader reflection on what can be done and how to optimize current EU situation; Members of the EU Steering Group on influenza and EU Coalition for Vaccination will share their experience with their union for better awareness on the flu burden of the disease and the important role of vaccination. Inspiration will be provided from transatlantic practices with the US influenza multi-stakeholders coalition and their advocacy journey looking at greater HC spectrum mobilization including the involvement of health authority, the voice of patient organisations and vaccine industry.

As an outcome of the session, we expect to jointly identify the critical factors that ensure a strong vaccines coverage rate and leverage practices from a country to another. EU Elections are also seen as a critical milestone to continue to place access to vaccination high in the EU political agenda for Europe to remain an ambitious partner toward this goal;

Main Message:

  • More actions are needed to strengthen multi-stakeholders accountability in increasing influenza VCR in Europe
  • There is an increasing need to politically drive the EU momentum for an increased VCR with targeted implementation plan in EU countries.