Different EU-funded projects on vaccination are running in parallel in Europe, many of them developing materials, trainings and workshops for health professionals. Whilst these are needed and welcome initiatives developing valuable resources, the multiplicity of projects does not come without risk – risk of duplicating activities and outputs, of overburdening health professionals with multiple demands for their contributions and attention, and of making it hard for health professionals to know where to look for information.
In an effort to streamline activities across the different initiatives, IMMUNION took steps to set up a network of ongoing projects on vaccination. The network brings together initiatives funded by the 3rd Health Programme (RISE-VAC, AcToVax4NAM, ImmuHubs) as well as Horizon 2020 research projects (JITSUVAX, VAX-TRUST, RIVER-EU), and the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). This network aims to discuss joint activities and opportunities for collaboration, coordinate outreach to health professionals and other stakeholders, and amplify results and impact through joint communications and policy messaging. Ultimately, it hopes to reduce the burden and information overload on health professionals, whilst ensuring that outputs developed by the different projects benefit from a collaborative perspective and achieve greater impact.
In early 2022, partners decided to form working groups dedicated to specific issues, to facilitate a smart and efficient approach. Since then, within the scope of the working group on training (chaired by IMMUNION partner the University of Antwerp), representatives from JITSUVAX have participated in a workshop and a ‘Training of Trainers’ session on vaccine communication organised by the University of Antwerp on behalf of IMMUNION. The working group on policy, meanwhile, has recently submitted an article to the Lancet, pending review (IMMUNION is represented by its partner the European Federation of Nurses, EFN).
Finally, the working group on communication and engagement (chaired by IMMUNION Coordinator EuroHealthNet) has established mechanisms to share project results amongst the network of vaccination projects. It is also developing a page on the Coalition for Vaccination website which will provide information on each initiative, as well as relevant activities and outputs for health professionals, thus helping to centralise information.
The network is always happy to expand our collaboration with other relevant projects – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about our activities and explore how you can work with us (firstname.lastname@example.org).