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Parliamentary questions
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26 February 2020
E-001147/2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tiemo Wölken
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Influenza vaccinations

Seasonal influenza has a large but often insufficiently acknowledged impact in Europe, with an estimated 15 000 to 70 000 deaths annually. Older people are the most affected.

The 2009 Council Recommendation on Seasonal Influenza Vaccination called for coverage rates of 75 % among older age groups by 2014/2015. 10 years on, no Member State has reached this level, and many have seen rates fall.

While vaccination has recently been made a priority issue (and was included in the 2018 Council Recommendation), a major focus has been addressing trust among parents whose children are being vaccinated.

Yet most seasonal influenza vaccines are administered to older adults, creating specific challenges that require different solutions.

1. Will the Commission take urgent steps to prioritise seasonal flu vaccination coverage rates among older age groups?

2. As a negative correlation has been found between vaccine hesitancy and age, and older people are more likely to believe and share fake news, will the Commission take steps to combat vaccine hesitancy specifically in older age groups?

3. Will the Commission use the 10 year anniversary of the 2009 Recommendation to renew its call for Member States to increase seasonal influenza vaccination coverage rates?

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