Vaccine champions: working to improve immunisation for all

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

November 23rd, 2017

Editorial Team

‘Meet the 10 NGOs shortlisted for an EU Health Award’

Ten non-governmental organisations are in the running for the EU Health Award 2017 – an annual prize which, this year, is dedicated to vaccination. In previous years, the contest has focused on Ebola and antimicrobial resistance.

‘Vaccines are one of the greatest achievements of public health,’ said Dr Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU Commissioner responsible for health. ‘Vaccines work – this is a fact not an opinion. They protect our children and they also protect us all when we are adults.’

Launching the award earlier this year he said he was astounded by declining rates of vaccine uptake and reports of disease outbreaks in Europe. NGOs, he said, can play a major role in advocating for vaccination in their own communities.

Speaking at the European Health Forum in Gastein this month, he unveiled the 10 finalists from which the top three will be selected. Prizes of €10,000, €15,000 and €20,000 will be awarded.

  1. Vaccine Prophylaxis Through Health Mediation In Roma Community by the Association National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) 
  2. Increasing Healthcare Workers’ uptake of seasonal influenza vaccination in a tertiary pediatric hospital in Greece with a 3-step, tailor-made multifaceted strategy by the Collaborative Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes Research (CLEO) 
  3. The Life Course Immunisation Initiative by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO)
  4. EPSA Vaccination Awareness Public Health Campaign 2016 by the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA)
  5. Hepatitis B vaccination for sex workers in Flanders by GHAPRO
  6. Vaccination program for senior citizens by KBO-PCOB
  7. Community Awareness Programme on Vaccination by the Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre
  8. Vaccine Advocacy/National awareness and education campaign on the benefits of vaccination and the risks of non-vaccination by the Romanian Association for Education In Family Medicine (AREPMF)
  9. Project Immuno by SloMSIC Ljubljana
  10. A Mobile Application Prevention: availability of vaccines and access to sustainable immunisation services by the Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative Think Tank


‘I will give the award for the three top prizes during the EU Health Policy Platform Meeting on 27 November 2017, but from my point of view, all of these 10 NGOs are already winners,’ Andriukaitis said.

He also said that the Commission is preparing an initiative, which will be presented next year, to support Member States in increasing vaccination coverage, fighting vaccine hesitancy and addressing problems with vaccine supply and production.