In 2009 the second cross-sectional web-based survey was undertaken by the Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort (VENICE) project across 27 European Union (EU) member states (MS), Norway and Iceland (n=29) to determine changes in official national seasonal influenza vaccination policies since a survey undertaken in 2008 and to compare the estimates of vaccination coverage between countries using data obtained from both surveys. Of 27 responding countries, all recommended vaccination against seasonal influenza to the older adult population. Six countries recommended vaccination of children aged between six months and
In August 2010 the Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort (VENICE) project conducted a survey to collect information on influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination policies and vaccination coverage in the European Union (EU), Norway and Iceland. Of 29 responding countries, 26 organised national pandemic influenza vaccination and one country had recommendations for vaccination but did not have a specific programme. Of the 27 countries with vaccine recommendations, all recommended it for healthcare workers and pregnant women. Twelve countries recommended vaccine for all ages. Six and three countries had recommendations for specific age groups in children and in adults, countries for specific adult age groups. Most countries recommended vaccine for those in new risk groups identified early in the pandemic such as morbid obese and people with neurologic diseases. Two thirds of countries started their vaccination campaigns within a four week period after week 40/2009. The reported vaccination coverage varied between countries from 0.4% to 59% for the entire population (22 countries); 3% to 68% for healthcare workers (13 countries); 0% to 58% for pregnant women (12 countries); 0.2% to 74% for children (12 countries). Most countries identified similar target groups for pandemic vaccine, but substantial variability in vaccination coverage was seen. The recommendations were in accordance with policy advice from the EU Health Security Committee and the World Health Organization.
This report provides an updated overview of recommended and mandatory vaccinations in the European Union (EU), Iceland and Norway, considering the differences in vaccine programme implementation between countries. In 2010, the Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort (VENICE) network, conducted a survey among the VENICE project gatekeepers to learn more about how national vaccination programmes are implemented, whether recommended or mandatory. Information was collected from all 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. In total 15 countries do not have any mandatory vaccinations; the remaining 14 have at least one mandatory vaccination included in their programme. Vaccination against polio is mandatory for both children and adults in 12 countries; diphtheria and tetanus vaccination in 11 countries and hepatitis B vaccination in 10 countries. For eight of the 15 vaccines considered, some countries have a mixed strategy of recommended and mandatory vaccinations. Mandatory vaccination may be considered as a way of improving compliance to vaccination programmes. However, compliance with many programmes in Europe is high, using only recommendations. More information about the diversity in vaccine offer at European level may help countries to adapt vaccination strategies based on the experience of other countries. However, any proposal on vaccine strategies should be developed taking into consideration the local context habits.