The European Joint Action on Vaccination project to increase vaccination coverage among the European population was launched in September. Seventeen EU Member States, and Norway, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are participating in the project. The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is involved in the project in Finland.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that vaccinating people saves up to three million lives a year. However, in many European countries vaccination coverage has remained below WHO targets for many years now. This means that many highly contagious diseases, such as measles, have started to spread again in Europe.
Päivi Sillanaukee, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, is concerned about epidemics that cross national boundaries and considers European cooperation in the prevention of contagious diseases to be extremely important.
The main purposes of the project are to increase confidence and trust in vaccination, to improve coordination on vaccine procurement between countries, and to support research and innovation in the field.