Co-financed by the European Union Health Programme (2014-2020) under grant agreement No. 101018210, this 2-year project (2021-2023), launched in April 2021, is coordinated by EuroHealthNet. It brings together a diverse consortium of 12 partners, from associations of health professionals (including members of the Coalition for Vaccination (established by the EU in 2019) to national public health institutes, media experts, and researchers, aims to improve vaccine uptake across the EU by providing access to accurate, evidence-based information about vaccination to health professionals and the general public.
The partners in the project are: EurohealthNet (BE); Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) (BE), Pharmaceutical Group of European Union (PGEU) (BE); European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN) (BE); University of Antwerp (BE); Europa Media (HU); Euractiv Poland (PL); Instituto Superiore di Sanitá (ISS) (IT); Institutul National de Sanatate Publica (INSP) (RO); Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) (LT); Prolepsis Institute (GR); Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative (VIVI) (DE).
Building on learnings from vaccination efforts at national, regional and global, the IMMUNION project has been conceived and designed to strengthen the existing Coalition for Vaccination and improve stakeholder collaboration to increase vaccine uptake across Europe. IMMUNION will specifically increase the visibility and reach of the Coalition for Vaccination through a number of approaches and activities, focused on vaccine communication and education and training of healthcare professionals.
IMMUNION Specific objectives:
- Dissemination of resources
- Strengthening Coalition for Vaccination
- Increasing training opportunities
- Enhancing collaboration with media
- Improving overall equity in vaccination
IMMUNION will implement a range of activities aiming to provide resources and educational opportunities to health professionals and increase the uptake of vaccines, which include:
- Further develop the SEKI platform, which will bring together validated training and resource materials for health professionals from sources such as the ECDC, WHO Europe, UNICEF and the EU Joint Action on Vaccination (EU-JAV).
- A ‘Training of Trainers’ workshop, to be delivered to professors/trainers in Greece, Latvia and Romania, and at EU-level.
- Three specialised vaccine and vaccinology workshops for health professionals.
- Four national toolboxes (for Greece, Italy, Latvia and Romania) of communication and community engagement tools to help improve vaccination coverage rates in specific vulnerable and underserved populations.
- A Find An Expert page on IMMUNION Website that will offer journalists, health professionals and the general public the opportunity to find vaccination experts from across Europe, to provide quotes and other information about vaccination for articles and/or to participate in local events.
Project Activities overview:
>> Work Packages
IMMUNION is structured around six work packages (WPs). WP1, WP2 WP3 are focused on coordination, dissemination, monitoring and evaluation. They direct the course of the work to ensure the expected outcomes are reached and the three core work packages (WP4, WP5, WP6) achieve their objectives. The EFN is involved in all of the project Work Packages:
- WP1 – Coordination of the project = Actions undertaken to manage the project and to make sure that it is implemented as planned
- WP2 – Communication & Dissemination of the project = Actions undertaken to ensure that the results of the project will be made available to the target groups, used and taken up. This WP is focusing on addressing specific target groups promoting training, education, information sources and exchange as well as the engagement with the European Coalition for Vaccination.
- WP3 – Evaluation of the project = Actions undertaken to verify if the project is being implemented as planned and reaches the objectives.
- WP4 – Strengthening the Coalition for Vaccination = Actions undertaken to strengthen cooperation amongst Coalition for Vaccination partners to increase confidence in and uptake of vaccines.
- WP5 – Training and Education in Vaccine Communication = Actions undertaken to provide additional educational opportunities to health professionals and trainers working in the field of vaccination.
- WP6 – National toolboxes for increasing vaccine uptake in target communities = Actions undertaken to address mis/disinformation in four target countries and to increase vaccine uptake in vulnerable communities.
- November 2021 (That includes an article from EFN “Three million frontline EU nurses could boost vaccination uptake”)
2/ Project Flyer – See here.
3/ News & Events – click here.
4/ Pan-European Survey – Over the summer 2021, IMMUNION conducted a pan-European survey among healthcare professionals, which revealed that whilst most nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other professionals feel confident to respond to their patients’ questions about vaccinations, this is not always the case for all professionals. More than 3,300 healthcare professionals across Europe took part in this survey aiming to understand their needs and preferences around training and education on vaccines and vaccination. The majority of survey respondents stated that they would be willing to follow extra courses on vaccination to gain in confidence and be better equipped to answer their patients’ questions. Healthcare professionals are particularly interested in online trainings and materials focusing on the benefits and effectiveness of vaccines. The full report is available here.
5/ Ask an Expert – This tool, available soon on IMMUNION Website, is aiming for healthcare professionals and journalists who write about vaccines and vaccination to connect with colleagues and trusted sources to improve communication about vaccines. An application form is available for those who would like to apply as Expert.
Project Website: www.coalitionforvaccination.com