Recommendations for how HERA could ensure equitable pandemic preparedness and response

The European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) recently celebrated its first anniversary. This paper reflects on HERA’s contribution during this first year of operations from the perspective of the public health community represented at the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).

In partnership with the European Patients Forum (EPF), EPHA and its members provided early feedback ahead of the creation of HERA. We welcomed the initiative of the European Commission to set up HERA while highlighting that the new Authority should serve patients and promote public health.

One year after the creation of HERA, this paper takes stock of HERA’s work during multiple crises, key documents (e.g., the 2022 State of Preparedness Report and the EU Global Health Strategy), and the work of the HERA’s Civil Society Advisory Forum where EPHA participates as a member, to reflect and provide the following recommendations for HERA as well as for the European Commission

The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) reiterates its commitment to work with HERA, the European Commission, and other involved organisations towards a better prepared, more effective and more equitable EU response to future health emergencies.

The reflection paper was drafted by Dr Samantha Field, a public health registrar hosted by EPHA. It was reviewed by Dr Rosa Castro, Senior Policy Manager at EPHA and EPHA members in the Healthcare Delivery cluster. 

This paper draws extensively on Wouters et al. The launch of the EU Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA): Improving global pandemic preparedness? Health Policy 2023; 133: 104844. The author is grateful to Olivier Wouters and Martin McKee for their contributions.

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