A new report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows worryingly low rates of influenza vaccination coverage throughout the European Union (EU).
Of 19 Member States who provided data on coverage for the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, none reached the EU target of 75 per cent influenza vaccination coverage for vulnerable groups.
The data was collected as part of an ECDC survey carried out in January 2018. The data showed that vaccination coverage for older adults ranged from 2.0 per cent to 72.8 per cent across the 19 countries in 2016-2017, with a median level of 47.1 per cent.
Coverage among healthcare workers was documented in 12 Member States and ranged from 15.6 to 63.2 per cent, while coverage for those with chronic medical conditions was provided by seven countries and ranged from 15.7 per cent to 57.1 per cent.
Coverage for pregnant women was known in nine Member States and ranged from 0.5 to 58.6 per cent. Five Member States were able to report vaccination coverage rates for residents in long-term care facilities. Among this patient population, influenza vaccine coverage ranged from 93.5 per cent in Ireland to 49.7 per cent in Wales.