European Immunisation Week: 22-30 April 2022
The value of prevention through vaccination for “a long and healthy life for all”
Athens, 27 April 2022.- Every year on the occasion of the European Immunisation Week, all Member States in the WHO European Region communicate the value and benefits of prevention through vaccination. This year, during the week 22-30 April, countries are joining their voices to highlight the contribution of vaccines to “a long and healthy life for all”.
Vaccination is an investment in economic and social welfare, saving healthcare resources, limiting the working hours lost to illness, reducing demand for medicinal products and fighting antibiotic resistance. Today, two years on since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the benefits have proven to be substantial, as vaccination has helped to minimise the social distancing measures and their impact on social and economic life. According to Vaccines Europe, the European vaccine industry association, the key to fully reaping the benefits of immunisation is proper implementation of the vaccination programmes recommended by the health authorities and unhindered access of citizens to vaccines.
In our country, although pediatric vaccine coverage is high, adult vaccination rates significantly lag behind, which calls for collective responses particularly in view of demographic ageing and an increase in chronic conditions. Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as influenza, pertussis, pneumococcus or herpes zoster, are a major cause of morbidity and premature death among adults.
In this direction, the cooperation of all stakeholders, the setting of vaccination targets, the full implementation of the National Vaccination Register and the development of early warning systems can contribute to raising public awareness of the benefits of vaccination.