In 2009 the second cross-sectional web-based survey was undertaken by the Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort (VENICE) project across 27 European Union (EU) member states (MS), Norway and Iceland (n=29) to determine changes in official national seasonal influenza vaccination policies since a survey undertaken in 2008 and to compare the estimates of vaccination coverage between countries using data obtained from both surveys. Of 27 responding countries, all recommended vaccination against seasonal influenza to the older adult population. Six countries recommended vaccination of children aged between six months and <18 years old. Most countries recommended influenza vaccination for those individuals with chronic medical conditions. Recommendations for vaccination of healthcare workers (HCW) in various settings existed in most, but not all countries. Staff in hospitals and long-term care facilities were recommended vaccination in 23 countries, and staff in out-patient clinics in 22 countries. In the 2009 survey, the reported national estimates on vaccine coverage varied by country and risk group, ranging from 1.1% - 82.6% for the older adult population; to between 32.9% -71.7% for clinical risk groups; and from 13.4% -89.4% for HCW. Many countries that recommend the influenza vaccination do not monitor the coverage in risk groups. In 2008 and 2009 most countries recommended influenza vaccination for the main risk groups. Hovewer, despite general consensus and recommendations for vaccination of high risk groups many countries do not achieve high coverage in these groups. The reported vaccination coverage still needs to be improved in order to achieve EU and World Health Organization goals.
Mereckiene, J., Cotter, S., D’Ancona, F., Giambi, C., Nicoll, A., Lévy-Bruhl, D., … O’Flanagan, D. (2010). Differences in national influenza vaccination policies across the European Union, Norway And Iceland 2008-2009. Eurosurveillance, 15(44), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.2807/ese.15.44.19700-en