The importance of vaccination for patients

Patients with chronic diseases are often at high risk of complications from vaccine-preventable diseases. Even though there are recommendations in national immunisation programmes for patients with specific chronic conditions, uptake of vaccination amongst patients is lower than it could be.

One of the reasons for this is lack of high-quality, evidence-based information in patient-friendly language and accessible formats.

In 2018, EPF launched a pilot project on vaccine information, titled “Vaccines confidence for patients, our families and communities”.

The objective of the initiative is to build confidence and help increase vaccination rates among patients with chronic diseases. The project is a springboard to raising awareness in the patient communities about the importance and benefits of vaccination.

Vaccination is a high policy priority of the EU

The European Union objectives for decreasing the burden of chronic diseases include addressing the determinants of health, reducing health inequalities, and public awareness‑raising and disease‑prevention campaigns.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker identified equal access to vaccines as a specific priority in his State of the European Union address on 13 September 2017, expressing the Commission’s commitment to working with Member States to support national vaccination efforts, in order to avoid needless deaths.

What EPF is doing

EPF conducted a survey with patients in March 2018 to get insight into their views and concerns as well as needs for information. Although the results are indicative, we see that there is a need for better and more accessible information on vaccination specifically for patients.

EPF is developing a lay-friendly information toolkit for patients and patient organisations that they can use in their advocacy efforts to spread evidence-based information among patient communities. The information is not disease specific and can be used in the national or local context, as well as by patient groups for specific chronic conditions active at European level.

On this page, we will add various tools such as the video launched during the 2018 European immunization awareness week, factsheets, background report and powerpoint presentation. We will also add links to reliable, external sources of information that patient groups may find useful.

Pilot national workshop

The “second pillar” of our project is a pilot national workshop, reaching out to chronic disease patients and disseminating the toolkit through their ecosystem. We are organising this first workshop in Bucharest, Romania on 1 November 2018 in collaboration with our member COPAC. Further national workshops will be developed in the coming years.

Launch of EPF's Patient Guide on Vaccination

Building on our previous work we have developed a guide to vaccination for patients and patient advocates. This guide, titled “Let’s Talk About Vaccination”, is the next step in filling the awareness and information gap in the patient communities. Developed in collaboration with patient advocates, the guide complements and expands on our other available information materials and gives guidance on having better conversations around vaccination. This was launched during a virtual event on 14 January 2021. Event slides and patient guide can be found below.

More information?

For more information on this initiative contact the EPF policy team by emailing or via telephone: +32 2 280 2334.

EPF is active in a number of policy areas to ensure that patients' views are incorporated into the EU policy agenda. We develop campaign and advocacy strategies to encourage the EU institutions and all relevant stakeholders to think about patients when developing health policies. We also support our member organisations with information about developments at EU level that may have an impact on them. For all EPF Policy topics please visit the following page.