Nurses in the fight against vaccination hesitancy

Nurses in the fight against vaccination hesitancy

Posted on September 10, 2019

Vaccination currently prevents 2-3 million deaths every year – that is its power. It is the most successful and cost-effective public health intervention that countries can opt for, and one of the biggest achievements of humanity in terms of public health.

We all need to ensure that the population’s confidence is vaccination across the EU Member States becomes again high. Otherwise, the ongoing problems that we are currently experiencing, such as the measles outbreaks, will only keep worsening. Nurses are at the frontline of vaccination, liaising with patients, teaching them about its effectiveness, and administrating the vaccines. To tackle the problem of vaccination hesitancy in the EU, the European Commission lead key events with WHO and stakeholder in Brussels.

One of these events is the biggest three healthcare professions (i.e., the nurses, represented by the EFN; the doctors, represented by the CPME; and the pharmacist, represented by PGEU) hosting  altogether a meeting at the European Commission premises, aiming at articulating a Coalition for Vaccination. In this meeting, which is attended by other public health organisations, all stakeholders discuss how to engage in this Coalition and what its possible commitments need to be to tackle the problem.

Furthermore, the EFN is a key stakeholder at the Global Vaccination Summit. This high-level political event counts with the intervention of Jean-Claude Juncker, outgoing President of the European Commission, as well as Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization. They share their insights on tackling vaccination-hesitancy, and in doing so, send a political message to the EU on the importance of vaccination.  The Summit counts with the participation of other high-level speakers, however, it is the EU citizens who need to be engaged and motivated to trust vaccinations! Nurses are the highest trusted profession in the healthcare sector, and as such nurses become one of the most important change agents! After the event, the European Commission released a document including ten actions towards vaccination for all.

The EFN members are active on vaccination as reflected in the EFN Report about nurses’ best competences in prevention, with specific attention to vaccination. This document is also a comparative overview of 35 European Countries and includes many nursing best practices in vaccination.