As part of a series of initiatives launched during European Immunization Week, the WHO is making it easy for national agencies to provide citizens with an convenient way to remember which vaccines their children have had and when their next appointment is due.
The 53 countries which make up the WHO’s European Region will be offered the design frame and ‘code’ for an immunisation app which can be adapted to fit national vaccine schedules in local languages.
Offering this technical support is seen as way of removing a barrier to the development of national immunisation apps by empowering local health promotion agencies to take control of promoting and updating the content.
A number of vaccine tracker apps have been developed independently but this is the first time a pan-European initiative has been undertaken to promote the use of technology in increasing immunisation uptake.
At present, most health authorities give parents paper records of immunisations – typically a booklet in which vaccinations are noted – while some also make data available electronically.
Smartphone apps are user-friendly and help to engage parents in monitoring their children’s immunisation status.