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Pre-conference: Towards influenza vaccination programmes for health care professionals

Wednesday 20 November, 09:00 - 17:00

Organised by:

European Scientific Working group on Influenza (ESWI)


The question of flu vaccination for healthcare professionals is an urgent and highly relevant one. After all, the devastating impact of flu is widely recognized, and flu vaccines are estimated to prevent thousands of admissions and millions of illnesses with current usage. At risk groups are well defined. Health care professionals work with the patients at risk on a daily basis. Annual vaccination is widely recommended to reduce the risk of healthcare acquired influenza. Why then is it so difficult to achieve influenza vaccine uptake levels in healthcare workers that would reduce or eliminate the risk of transmitting the disease?

In this preconference, we will attempt to answer this question in close collaboration with our partner organizations. Together, we aim to develop a list of actions to stimulate the implementation of vaccination policies for health care professionals.



  • Marc Van Ranst, University of Leuven, Belgium, and Belgian Flu Commissioner
  • Marco Goeijenbier, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, The Netherlands

09:00 – 09:20

Current recommendations and guidelines for healthcare workers vaccination: an overview -  Marc Van Ranst, University of Leuven and Belgian Flu Commissioner

09:20 – 09:30

Questions & answers 

09:30 – 09:50

The dangers of flu for at-risk groups and healthcare workers - Ab Osterhaus, Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, Hannover, Germany, and ESWI chair

09:50 – 10:00

Questions & answers

10:00 – 10:20

The role of healthcare professionals in influenza vaccination: an EU perspective -George Kassianos, National Immunisation Lead, Royal College of General Practitioners, United Kingdom, and ESWI member

10:20 – 10:30

Questions & answers

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 11:20

Mandatory vaccination for health care workers in the US - Representative of the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP) on their position statement on ‘Best Practices for Healthcare Worker Immunization’ 

11:20 – 11:30

Questions & answers

11:30 – 12:10

The ethics of influenza vaccination of healthcare workers: a critical appraisal:

pros and cons

  • Sarah Edwards, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Speaker to be confirmed 
12:10 – 12:30

Questions & answers

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:00

The role of healthcare professional organizations: short statements by ESWI coalition partners

  • European Respiratory Society (ERS)
  • European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID)
  • Pharmaceutical Group to the EU (PGEU)
  • WHO Europe
  • European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP)
  • European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN)
  • World Organization of Family Physicians (WONCA) and EUROPREV, the WONCA network for prevention and health promotion in General Practice
  • European Forum of National Nursing and Midwifery Associations (EFNNMA)
  • European Public Health Association (EUPHA)
14:00 – 14:45

Audience debate: how to establish and implement vaccination programmes for healthcare workers. What needs to be done?

14:45 – 15:00

Conclusions of the meeting

Registration fee

The pre-conference is free of charge but registration is required. Networking lunch and refreshments are included. Number of registrations is limited.