Vaccine hesitancy and the drop in vaccination rates in Europe
Question for oral answer O-000008/2018
to the Council
Renate Sommer, Elena Gentile, Bolesław G. Piecha, Gesine Meissner, Kateřina Konečná, Marco Affronte, Mireille D'Ornano
on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Vaccination is unquestionably one of the most cost-effective public health measures available. Wide-spread vaccination has eradicated smallpox and made Europe polio-free. All EU Member States recommend vaccination against serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases. However, some vaccines remain undervalued and under-used. Despite, or perhaps because of, their public health impact, an increasing number of parents and patients are choosing to delay or refuse vaccines. Widespread vaccine hesitancy has become a worrying phenomenon due to the range of health-related consequences it causes in the Member States. Recent epidemiological data on the situation of vaccination in the Member States shows a significant drop in the use of vaccines.
Health professionals are essential promoters of vaccine acceptance. Despite the availability of information from a wide range of sources, providers remain the most important predictor of vaccine acceptance.
Given the above, what measures does the Council intend to take to address the resistance to vaccination and promote:
– The launch of a fully comprehensive EU Action Plan raising the social problem of vaccine hesitancy?
– Measures to tackle the spread of unreliable, misleading and unscientific information on vaccination and to further develop information campaigns aimed at providing more in-depth knowledge about vaccines and increasing vaccination coverage, including among health professionals?
Deadline for reply: 22.2.2018