Europe risks ‘vaccine fatigue’

Gary Finnegan

Gary Finnegan

October 9th, 2012

Gary Finnegan

‘The return of diseases such as measles and pertussis call for a Europe-wide response, according to Dr Karin Kadenbach, a member of the European Parliament health committee.’

Dr-Karin-KadenbachSpeaking at the European Health Forum at Gastein, a high-level policy conference held annually in Austria, Dr Kadenbach said experts and political leaders should cooperate to help governments to hit immunisation targets.

“People have to be reminded of the importance of vaccination. At the moment, for example, measles and rubella are once again raging in Europe. This calls for a joint European initiative that brings in health experts and decision-makers.”

European immunisation programmes are a public health success story but some citizens have become reluctant to be vaccinated, according to the Austrian MEP. She said vaccine-preventable diseases will again start to cause considerable disability and death, and could put a strain on health services if public “vaccine fatigue” is not reversed. 

“To increase participation in vaccination programmes we need doctors who recommend vaccination, and distribute more information about the dangers of infectious diseases and ways of preventing them… There has to be enough money to support such programmes and proper administration for them,” Dr Kadenbach said.