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, Alpha 3


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 support the shift towards life course immunisation, enhance timely population access to vaccines, and contribute to strengthening vaccine confidence.

Opening presentation

This lunch symposium, chaired by Professor Walter Ricciardi, will bring together key stakeholders from across Europe’s immunisation ecosystem to consider the actions that are needed to enhance vaccine assessment and decision-making pathways across EU Member States. 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 National Immunisation Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs)
  3. Consistency – while recognising that national pathways will differ, certain processes should feature in all countries (including horizon scanning and early advice), and a robust decision-analysis framework for vaccine assessments should be implemented
  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 Vaccines Europe presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, including:

  • Maarten Postma, Professor of Global Health Economics, University Medical Center Groningen and Faculty of Economics & Business, University of Groningen, and Member of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination
  • Elena Petelos, Lecturer in Evidence-Based Medicine and Senior Research Fellow, University of Crete and Maastricht University, Vice-President of the EUPHA HTA Section, and Co-Chair for RWE & AI at HTAi
  • Martine Ingvorsen, Policy Officer, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion unit, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission
  • Sibilia Quilici, Executive Director, Vaccines Europe

Chaired by Walter Ricciardi, Full Professor Hygiene & Public Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Scientific Advisor to the Italian Minister of Health, and Immediate Past President, World Federation of Public Health Associations

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 the lunch symposium free of charge. Get your lunch in the Exhibiton / Catering Area and take it to the session room.