• Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination policies and coverage in Europe.

      Mereckiene, J; Cotter, S; Weber, J T; Nicoll, A; D'Ancona, F; Lopalco, P L; Johansen, K; Wasley, A M; Jorgensen, P; Lévy-Bruhl, D; et al. (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2012-06)
      In August 2010 the Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort (VENICE) project conducted a survey to collect information on influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination policies and vaccination coverage in the European Union (EU), Norway and Iceland. Of 29 responding countries, 26 organised national pandemic influenza vaccination and one country had recommendations for vaccination but did not have a specific programme. Of the 27 countries with vaccine recommendations, all recommended it for healthcare workers and pregnant women. Twelve countries recommended vaccine for all ages. Six and three countries had recommendations for specific age groups in children and in adults, countries for specific adult age groups. Most countries recommended vaccine for those in new risk groups identified early in the pandemic such as morbid obese and people with neurologic diseases. Two thirds of countries started their vaccination campaigns within a four week period after week 40/2009. The reported vaccination coverage varied between countries from 0.4% to 59% for the entire population (22 countries); 3% to 68% for healthcare workers (13 countries); 0% to 58% for pregnant women (12 countries); 0.2% to 74% for children (12 countries). Most countries identified similar target groups for pandemic vaccine, but substantial variability in vaccination coverage was seen. The recommendations were in accordance with policy advice from the EU Health Security Committee and the World Health Organization.
    • Low coverage of seasonal influenza vaccination in the elderly in many European countries.

      Mereckiene, J; Cotter, S; Weber, J T; Nicoll, A; Lévy-Bruhl, D; Ferro, A; Tridente, G; Zanoni, G; Berra, P; Salmaso, S; et al. (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2008-10-09)
    • National seasonal influenza vaccination survey in Europe, 2008.

      Mereckiene, J; Cotter, S; Nicoll, A; Levy-Bruhl, D; Ferro, A; Tridente, G; Zanoni, G; Berra, P; Salmaso, S; O'Flanagan, D; et al. (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2008-10-23)
      A cross-sectional survey was undertaken with the European Union (EU) Member States and Norway and Iceland to describe seasonal influenza immunisation in the 2006-7 season, in particular to identify country-specific recommendations for risk groups, obtain vaccine uptake information and allow comparison with global recommendations. A standardised questionnaire was completed electronically by each country's project gatekeeper. Of the 29 countries surveyed, 28 recommended seasonal influenza vaccination for older age groups (22 for those aged > 65 years), and in one country vaccine was recommended for all age groups. All countries recommended vaccinating patients with chronic pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases and most countries advised to immunise patients with haematologic or metabolic disorders (n=28), immunologic disorders (n=27) and renal disease (n=27), as well as residents of long-term care facilities (n=24). Most countries recommended vaccination for staff in hospitals (n=25), long-term care facilities (n=25) and outpatient clinics (n=23), and one-third had such recommendations for workers in essential (n=10), military (n=10) and veterinary services (n=10) and poultry industry (n=13). Eight countries recommended vaccine for pregnant women; and five advised to vaccinate children (with age limits ranging from 6 months to 5 years). Twenty countries measured influenza vaccine uptake among those aged > 65 years (range 1.8%-82.1%), seven reported uptake in healthcare workers (range 14%-48%) and seven assessed coverage in persons with underlying medical conditions (range 27.6%-75.2%). The data provided by this study can assist EU states to assess and compare their influenza vaccination programme performance with other countries. The information provides a comprehensive overview of policies and programmes and their outcomes and can be used to inform joint discussions on how the national policies in the EU might be standardised in the future to achieve optimal coverage. Annual surveys could be used to monitor changes in these national policies.