The new website, MyVaccines.ch, is a free service which allows people to create a secure personal record of their vaccination status and to receive notification – by text message or email – when a vaccine is due.
It also provides advice on which vaccines are required and is available in four languages: English, French, German and Italian. Users can also download a free app which has been custom-built for iPhones.
A similar system has been developed in Ireland where the website, IrishHealth.com, recently launched a Child Immunisation Tracker app, with the support of the Irish Minister for Health, along with professional medical associations.
Time for an EU-wide system?
These projects come while officials in Brussels are working on a proposal for a European-wide . This system would help families who move within Europe to ensure their children do not miss out on vaccines.
A number of European countries and regions – including Luxembourg and Flanders in Belgium – have their own systems for monitoring immunisation, with a range of paper and electronic records in use.
However, language barriers and differences in the vaccine schedule from one region to the next mean such documents are not always useful when travelling. The European Commission’s idea would be to have a language-neutral document which could be understood by health professionals across the 27 member states.
Last month, Dr Milan Cabrnoch, an MEP and paediatrician, told Vaccines Today that vaccination status should become part of . He said this would help patients and doctors to ensure children did not miss out on important immunisations.