Recap of the VAC-PACT Regional Workshops
Chronic diseases affect more than 80% of people aged over 65 in Europe and account for up to 80% of healthcare costs in terms of premature deaths, healthy life years lost, and lost productivity. It is estimated that almost 50 million people live with multiple chronic diseases and, accordingly, contributing to the main challenge facing Europe’s healthcare in providing equitable access to high-quality care that is patient/person-centred and meets people’s changing needs.
Evidence shows that chronic diseases can increase the risk of serious complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Epidemiological studies confirm that comprehensive vaccination programmes are the cornerstone of good public health and bring about life-long societal benefits. However, sustainable investment in improving dialogue with citizens, listening to their needs, understanding their concerns, and developing tailored intervention strategies is required.
The VAC-PACT pilot project aims to improve uptake and confidence in vaccines for patients with chronic diseases, families and supporting communities. As part of its activities, VAC-PACT coordinated 3 regional workshops to enable us to engage and work with representatives at national levels within Central and Eastern Europe, Southern, and Western Europe.
The workshops were the first patient led and focussed health events on vaccination of its kind held in Europe, over the course of February to March 2021 gathering over 120 participants with balanced representation of healthcare professionals, patients, and supporting communities, joining the discussions along with representatives of the European Commission, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and various vaccination and communication experts from across Europe.
Each workshop was designed following the principle of active engagement, with plenary and parallel group sessions, enabling an interactive debate while focusing on concrete and workable outputs and recommendations: working towards refining the content of the VAC-PACT Advanced Toolkit and overall validation, paving the way for effective dissemination to patients, healthcare professionals, and supporting communities at national and regional levels.
For more information about the VAC-PACT Pilot project, you can read more here.