HEALTH : SEASONAL FLU VACCINATION: EU NOWHERE NEAR ITS TARGET.

 
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The EU has still not reached the target set in Council Recommendation 2009/1019/EU on seasonal influenza vaccination. According to a progress report, published on 9 January, only one out of 18 member states - the Netherlands - having provided data had vaccinated at least 75% of the elderly during the 2011-2012 period. The UK is not too far off hitting its target - without actually reaching it - with 74% coverage, whereas the coverage rate reported by the 16 other countries varies between 1.7% and 64.1%.

The Council recommendation, adopted on 22 December 2009, urges states to make sure they vaccinate 75% of groups in danger of catching the seasonal influenza during the winter of 2014-2015. The recommendation particularly focuses on the elderly and suggests that this target be extended if possible to groups with chronic medical conditions or vulnerable groups (pregnant women and young children). It also encourages member states to improve vaccinations for health workers.

The Commission's report shows that almost all countries have set up national and/or regional policies or strategies for vaccinations for seasonal flu. However, due to the lack of data, evaluating the current situation and/or trends on vaccination coverage has not been easy. Excluding the elderly, information is scarce on other vulnerable groups and national surveillance leaves a lot to be desired. Based on available data, the report nevertheless concludes that there are low rates of vaccination coverage for these targeted groups, including health care workers.

The report is available at

HealthSeasonal flu vaccination: EU nowhere near its targetBy Sophie PetitjeanThe EU has still not reached the target set in Council Recommendation 2009/1019/EU on seasonal influenza vaccination. According to a progress report, published on 9 January, only one out of 18 member states a" the Netherlands - having provided...

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