Lunch symposium: Enhancing pathways for vaccine assessments and national decision-making – a driver of resilient health systems

Thursday 10 November, 12:45 - 13:45 CET


Organised by:

Vaccines Europe


The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically highlighted the crucial role that vaccines play in ensuring good population health, health system resilience, and societal well-being. As Europe begins to look beyond the pandemic, there is an opportunity to reflect on the future needs of the vaccine ecosystem as a driver of health system resilience and sustainability. A key area for attention and policy action concerns the country-specific pathways through which vaccines are assessed and decisions made on their inclusion in National Immunisation Programmes (NIPs).

These assessment and decision-making pathways – which are long, complex and differ across countries – are a crucial component of national immunisation systems. Efforts to improve their design and functioning can contribute to more timely population access to vaccines, greater consistency in national practices, and strengthened vaccine confidence.

This lunch symposium will bring together key stakeholders from across Europe’s immunisation ecosystem to consider the actions that are needed to enhance national vaccine pathways. An opening presentation by Vaccines Europe (VE) will highlight four principles that should underpin those actions:

  1. Timeliness – in particular the need to reduce time to population access (TTPA), estimates of which indicate a variation of less than 2 years in some EU Member States to more than 6 years in others
  2. Inclusiveness – ensuring mechanisms are in place to consult all relevant stakeholders, and to involve civil society in the work of NITAGs
  3. Consistency – while recognising that national pathways will differ, certain processes should feature in all countries, such as horizon scanning and early advice and the implementation of a robust decision-analysis framework for vaccine assessments
  4. Transparency – for example with regard to the roles played by different public bodies, and through publication of rationales for (i) NITAG/HTA body recommendations and (ii) final policy decisions.

Panel discussion

 The introduction will be followed by a moderated panel discussion, including representatives from: 

  • a national health ministry
  • a National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) and/or Health Technology Assessment (HTA) body
  • a public health expert from EUPHA
  • civil society (e.g., a public health advocacy organisation)
  • Vaccines Europe

Questions to be addressed during the panel discussion will include:

  • Can the EU joint clinical HTA regulation result in greater consistency in national assessments of vaccines, and what steps are needed to ensure that that happens?
  • In what ways would improved immunisation finance contribute to the better functioning of national vaccine pathways?
  • How can transparent publication of NITAG/HTA body recommendations and final policy decisions contribute to greater vaccine confidence?


Registration is not required. Delegates can attend these meetings free of charge. Get your lunch in the Exhibiton / Catering Area and take it to the session room.