Vaccine hesitancy in Europe is growing. EPP Group calls on Member States to stop the trend.
Today, Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee are to call on Member States to adopt a more active approach towards combating vaccine hesitancy.
"It is extremely worrying that the use of vaccines in the Member States is dropping rapidly", said Renate Sommer MEP, the EPP Group's Spokeswoman on the dossier. "Just because the problem does not necessarily affect each one of us individually, we cannot pretend it doesn't exist", she stressed.
Empirical data for 2017, released early this year by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, shows that there were 14,451 cases of measles reported across 30 countries in 2017, compared to 4,600 in the previous 12 months. Since the beginning of 2016, there have been 50 deaths due to the disease reported in the EU. Measles are resurging in Europe at the same time that the vaccination rate is falling.
"In some way, vaccinations are victims of their own success. It is probably because of vaccines' public health impact that an increasing number of parents and patients are choosing to delay or refuse vaccines", said Sommer.
"All EU countries recommend vaccination against serious life-threatening diseases. Maybe the time has come to remind citizens why", she concluded, calling upon Member States and the European Commission to start promoting awareness within the Member States.