A diverse group of over 30 young health professionals from 15 European countries has published a Manifesto setting out a series of concrete actions designed to improve immunisation.
At a launch in the European Parliament, the YC4PV called for stronger efforts to promote awareness of preventative health; a stronger focus on life-course immunisation; and an accelerated adoption of digital tools to enhance trust in online information sources.
Young people have a key role to play in the discussion on #vaccination in #Europe 🇪🇺👥 We're happy to announce that the Young Coalition for #Prevention and Vaccination's Manifesto will be launched on Jan 21st at the @Europarl_EN in Brussels, with the support of MEP @brandobenifei pic.twitter.com/3VC9NtreFM
— ThinkYoung (@ThinkYoungTW) January 6, 2020
The Manifesto is the fruit of a year of workshops and consultations with stakeholder groups, as well as Members of the European Parliament and officials from the European Commission. It was coordinated by Think Young, a think tank focused on young people’s issues. Think Young is a supporter of Vaccines Today.
Speaking at the launch, Isabel de la Mata, principal advisor to the European Commission on health and crisis management, said policymakers increasingly view vaccines from a life-long perspective: ‘Vaccines are not about the past and they are not just about children. Vaccines are for everyone.’
Several contributors emphasised that vaccination is a key part of staying healthy throughout life. ‘Vaccine-preventable diseases remain a major issue in Europe: we have seen measles outbreaks in several countries; influenza continues to put pressure on hospital systems; meningitis continues to cause avoidable death and disability,’ said MEP Brando Benifei who hosted the launch event.
‘We need further action to educate EU citizens from an young age on the importance of vaccination. Therefore, seeing youths adding their voices to the healthcare conversation is a great sign of engagement.’
Members of the YC4PV attending a launch event at the European Parliament.
This was echoed by Andrea Gerosa, Founder of ThinkYoung. ‘Young people are key actors in the public debate about vaccines, with their family, their children, their friends, and more recently on social media,’ he said.
‘They have important decisions to make for their health, and most importantly, they listen to one another when it comes to these decisions. With this Manifesto, new generations are taking a proactive stance on a significant issue and aim to have a concrete impact on the society as a whole.’
Vaccines Today Editor, Gary Finnegan (centre) addresses the YC4PV manifesto launch event at the European Parliament. The meeting was attended by more than 50 young professionals, along with representatives of the European Parliament and European Commission.
10 steps to better vaccination rates
- Encourage Member States to implement public health courses on immunisation in national education curricula starting from primary school.
- Enhance education on prevention and vaccination of students in healthcare disciplines, including communication proficiencies addressing hesitancy.
- Stimulate interprofessional collaboration between healthcare professionals and the scientific community to engage civil society and to promote accessible educational material on the value of vaccination.
- Foster healthcare professionals to integrate comprehensive prevention and vaccination consultation into regular appointments with patients throughout all stages of life – from childhood to old age.
- Facilitate opportunities for citizens to receive vaccination beyond traditional healthcare settings, such as universities, pharmacies, workplaces and travel sites.
- Encourage the EU to improve the use of existing national platforms, which provide upto-date and personalised reminders to citizens and healthcare professionals to facilitate the responsiveness towards timely vaccination.
- Urge the creation of an EU platform, including accessible and reliable information on vaccine safety and vaccine-preventable diseases from existing scientific literature.
- Enhance the development of digital solutions that allow secure cross-border transfer of information on personal vaccine history, accessible to vaccination providers and citizens.
- Call for further social media actions, exploring the feasibility of a ‘verified account’ system to certify reliable information on vaccination and other public health related issues with a trust mark-based visual system.
- To empower young people and to leverage the Young Coalition for Prevention and Vaccination to support and promote EU initiatives on vaccination at the national and EU level, to ensure long term and sustainable transformation towards resilient immunisation systems across Europe.
A huge thank you to our participants, speakers, members of the #YC4PV, partners and to our moderator @finnegag @VaccinesToday 🙌🏻 for making our #Manifesto launch a successful event! #YC4PVManifesto #Youth4Vaccines #VaccinesWork pic.twitter.com/hW8Pvgi6c3
— ThinkYoung (@ThinkYoungTW) January 21, 2020