Medical organisations in Europe have called on governments and legislators in the region to ensure that vaccination programmes are supported in the best interest of European citizens.
The call to action comes amid growing concern over vaccine hesitancy, with the organisations highlighting how vaccination coverage has decreased among children and adults in many European countries in recent years. The organisations have also voiced concern over the influence of diverse anti-vaccine groups.
They also highlighted how a bill which proposed amending legislation on communicable diseases and compulsory vaccination had been submitted to Parliament in Poland as a citizens’ initiative, and rejected only after a "decisive protest" by medical organisations, experts and the public.
The organisations stressed that doctors, healthcare professionals and their organisations are essential to deliver facts based on scientific evidence and increase public awareness about the benefits of immunisation. "Our voice based on our professional knowledge and expertise should be listened to, and the facts based on sound science should be respected," the statement said.
It added that coordination and cooperation between different European countries should be strengthened to prevent communicable diseases that "know no borders".