A group of MEPs and public health expertmet on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 in order to give renewed impetus to efforts to ensure universal vaccination of European children, in the context of European Immunisation Week.
The stakeholder luncheon, held at the European Parliament, was hosted by Karin Kadenbach MEP (Austria, S&D) and featured guest speakers Dr Pierre Van Damme, Professor of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at the University of Antwerp, Dr Heidi Larson, Principal Research Fellow at the Global Health Institute of Imperial College, London, and Dr Antoon Gijsens, from DG SANCO‘s Health Threats division.
During the meeting, the cost effectiveness of vaccination and prevention over therapeutic treatment was discussed, as well as public perception problems that can arise when attempting to “prepare for the worst”, as seen during the recent H1N1 crisis.
The discussion highlighted the danger of complacency in the coming years, particularly as we reach a point where the latest generation of physicians have no memory of the terrible diseases that have been eradicated by vaccinations. The group also examined the massive disparity in coverage between EU Member States, and the need for coordinated community action to stop diseases crossing borders.
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