European healthcare professionals urge vaccination for COVID-19 and seasonal influenza

The Coalition for Vaccination issued a statement on the autumn-winter vaccination season 2023-24, as one of the outcomes of the annual meeting which took place on 24 October.

Healthcare professionals in Europe call for countries to make influenza and COVID-19 vaccination
easily accessible particularly to high-risk population groups such as people with co-morbidities, the
immunocompromised, the elderly and pregnant women.

Also, healthcare professionals who are more exposed to the risk of infection and who need to protect
their patients should get vaccinated against influenza, complete their COVID-19 vaccination series and
receive the potential additional dose.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the risk of COVID-19,
influenza and other respiratory infections will increase in the European Region in the coming months.
Last winter, the cumulative impacts of influenza, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hit
the eldest but also the youngest citizens the hardest. This translated into additional pressure for the
healthcare services in Europe.

This autumn, the European Commission has authorised two adapted COVID-19 vaccines to allow the
European Union (EU) countries to prepare in time for their autumn-winter vaccination campaigns.
These are the third adaptations of the COVID-19 vaccines to respond to new variants. Vaccines
authorised in the EU go through a stringent scientific evaluation by the European Medicines Agency
(EMA) on quality, safety, and efficacy. The Coalition for Vaccination reaffirms that vaccination is a safe
and efficient way of protecting individuals and populations from vaccine-preventable communicable
diseases. Safety is continuously monitored by EMA.

Healthcare professionals are trusted sources of information for parents, and they can help families
make informed decisions that contribute to public health. Moreover, they can help build vaccine
confidence and address misinformation by sharing facts and information among their communities.

The Coalition for Vaccination also calls on the EU policymakers to keep vaccination high on the agenda.