Vaccination features high on the agenda of the European Institutions as well as at the level of individual countries and healthcare authorities. Knowing that vaccination is the main tool for primary prevention of disease and one of the most cost-effective public health measures available, currently preventing between 2 and 3 million deaths in the world every year, and that immunisation through vaccination is the best defence we have against serious, preventable, and sometimes deadly, contagious diseases, the European Commission is reinforcing its support to national vaccination efforts to increase coverage, amongst others, through the Joint Action on Vaccination co-funded by the EU Health Programme, and a “Coalition for Vaccination”, convened in spring 2019, that brings together European associations of healthcare workers as well as relevant students´ associations in the field, of which the EFN is one of the co-chairs, next to CPME (Doctors) and PGEU (Pharmacists). The Coalition will support delivering accurate information to the public, combating myths around vaccines and vaccination, and the exchange of best practices on vaccination.
As the largest professional group of the healthcare professions, nurses are the frontline staff largely responsible for delivering safe and effective vaccination programmes to communities across Europe, yet rarely getting formal recognition for this life-saving endeavour. In addition to administering vaccination, nurses have this additional role to educating the public, identifying vulnerable groups, raising awareness and promoting uptake among those who stand to benefit. Nurses’ contribution to frontline impact is crucial on this, and the EFN members best practices cannot be ignored.
Nurses to Citizens
“By encouraging patients and their caregivers to vaccinate and by providing them with relevant scientific evidence, nurses increase the possibility that patients and their beloved ones remain in good health.”
Nurses to Nurses
“Nurses know the importance of vaccination. It is important nurses share their knowledge on vaccination and motivate other nurses to become vaccinated.”
Nurses to Doctors
“Nurses commitment and professional knowledge makes them strong advocates for vaccination uptake among Medical Doctors”.
Despite the demonstrated benefits of many kinds of vaccination it remains a controversial issue largely due to misinformation, restricted access, health illiteracy and cost. The consequences of low uptakes of certain kinds of vaccination can be damaging to the health and economic welfare of vulnerable citizens across Europe, and by extension to their families and wider communities. Healthcare professionals, especially nurses, are the frontline staff largely engaged for delivering safe and effective vaccination programmes to communities across Europe.
Interview on vaccination – Asija Delalić