EFIS Vaccine Task Force
The EFIS Vaccine Task Force was established in February 2020 to pool resources and expertise across European immunology to play a key role in reversing the low/downward trend in childhood vaccination rates by providing a strong, engaging, evidence-based and collective voice across Europe. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the remit of the Task Force was expanded to include all vaccinations and much of the work to date has focused on increasing public confidence in SARS-CoV-2 vaccines across Europe.
The long-term aim of the Task Force is to provide an expert view on vaccination issues, continue to share best practice across Europe in engaging the public with the importance and value of COVID-19 vaccination, and to build on the Task Force’s pandemic-focused work to embed the importance of vaccine engagement more widely across European populations.
Task Force Spokesperson:
Dr. Doug Brown
Chief Executive Officer
British Society for Immunology
New EFIS report on European COVID-19 vaccination strategies
Today, the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) has published a new expert report called ‘Lessons learned from European COVID-19 vaccination rollout programmes’ which features case studies of vaccination strategies across Europe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report examines different steps taken to encourage vaccination uptake in a range of countries and important lessons we can incorporate to strengthen international preparedness for future pandemics and advance global health.
Based on the European case studies, the report outlines the following recommendations:
- Immunologists should collaborate across national borders to respond to health crises by sharing success stories and challenges to address common issues.
- We must work together to understand prominent concerns about vaccines and proactively increase public confidence in the life-saving benefits of vaccination.
- Immunology needs to be at the heart of national and international health policy, directly informing governments and engaging with the public in an open and accessible way. This can increase vaccine uptake and lower hospitalisations and death from infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
- Engaging and working closely with the public to create informative resources together is key to increasing confidence in vaccines.
One of the major efforts of the EFIS Vaccine Task Force, in collaboration with the British Society for Immunology (BSI), has been to provide the interested public with access to reliable, evidence-based, vaccine information. Thanks to the work of the Task Force, these vaccine infographics explaining how vaccines work and the importance of vaccination, have been translated into several European languages, all of which can be downloaded from the list below.
A first tangible achievement of the Task Force was its delivery of a co-authored a white paper, published in March 2021, about European co-operation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccination. The paper, which was circulated in its original English form and in translation throughout Europe, to members of the constituent immunological societies and more widely politicians and policymakers, academic institutions, medical and learned societies, journalists for national media, and through online social media channels, can be downloaded here.