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

Wednesday 20 November, 09:00 - 17:00, Room Sormiou

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

What are the  roles and responsibilities of healthcare workers in preventing nosocomial influenza infections? - 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 - Lydia Crutchfield, Association of Occipational health professionalos in healthcare (AOHP), United States  

11:20 – 11:30

Questions & answers

11:30 – 11:50

Measuring the impact of a mandatory province-wide vaccinate-or-mask policy on healthcare worker absenteeism in British Columbia, Canada - Michelle Murti, Public health physician, Communicable diseases, Emergency preparedness and response, Public Health Ontario, Canada 

11:50 - 12:00

Questions & answers

12:00 – 12:20

Mandatory vaccination for health care workers in the United States - Litjen Tan, Immunization Action Coalition On The 'Influenza Vaccination Honor Role' and Influenza Vaccination Mandates of Leading US Medical Organizations

12:20 - 12:30 Questions & answers 
12:30 – 13:30

Lunch break

13:30 - 14:10

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, UK, and Hanna Noyhinek, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

14:10 - 14:20

Questions & answers

14:20 - 15:00

The role of healthcare professional organizations - Part 1

(Short statements by ESWI coalition partners)

  • European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), Delane Shingadia
  • European Respiratory Society (ERS), James Chalmers
  • Pharmaceutical Group to the EU (PGEU), Stéphane Pichon
  • European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP), Hans Jürgen Dornbusch
  • European Medical Association (EMA), Damiano Cantone
  • European Public Health Association (EUPHA), Maria Gańczak
15:00 - 15:15

Coffee break

15:15 - 15:55

The role of healthcare professional organizations - Part 2

15:55 – 16:45

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

16:45 – 17:00

Conclusions of the meeting

Download the full programme here.

Registration fee

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