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Vaccines: EU Commission, “more cooperation in the fight against preventable diseases”

(Brussels) Fight against vaccine hesitancy and wider immunisation coverage; sustainable immunisation strategies in the EU; EU-wide coordination and contribution to worldwide health: these are the three “lines of action” that the EU Commission has submitted today in a number of recommendations about how to “strengthen cooperation in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases”. Health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis states: “Immunisation is one of the most powerful and cost-effective public healthcare measures developed in the XX century. As a doctor, I find it disheartening to see children die because of the scarcity or lack of vaccines or because of vaccine hesitancy”. According to Andriukaitis, infectious diseases “won’t keep within national borders. A member state’s lack of immunisation will endanger the citizens’ health and safety all over the European Union. Cooperation in this area is in everyone’s interest”. And he ends with an appeal: “Let’s protect our children, let’s immunise them”. Every year – according to the EU Commission’s figures –, vaccines save 1 to 3 million lives across the world, and, according to the World Health Organisation, they will save another 25 million in the next ten years. “Yet, according to the European Centre for disease prevention and control, because of poor immunisation coverage, many EU countries have to face unprecedented measles outbreaks and a reappearance of vaccine-preventable diseases, which still cause children and adults to die in the European Union”.

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