The nurses’ contribution to the vaccines ecosystemPosted on October 28, 2019
The vaccines ecosystem, as it stands now, is very complex. Processing agencies aim at cost minimisation, manufacturers want price maximisation, and the Member States the widest possible coverage. At the same time, we are seeing the rise of anti-vaccine movements, who benefit from this complexity and utilise them to spread fake news, hence rising vaccine-hesitancy across large sectors of the population – reaching out even to some healthcare professionals.
In this context, nurses play a key role in fostering vaccination across local communities, with a particular focus on the groups that are most vulnerable (elderly, children, and people living with diseases, homeless people,…). Moreover, nurses are the most-trusted healthcare professional group, which empowers them to make things towards prevention. The EFN has already published a report on vaccination, including nurses’ competencies in prevention.
However, nurses alone cannot solve the vaccination issue in the EU, nor tackle the whole of its complexity. EU institutions need to do its part, too. As an example, the new EU Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, is asked in her mission letter to “prioritise communication on vaccination”, hence combatting fake news. Moreover, the European Commission’s DG Health will boost information and coordination on vaccination across Europe, as it continues to be a top priority for the next political term.
The EFN is also part of a Coalition for Vaccination, which is an initiative of the European Commission, in which the three largest healthcare professions (the nurses, represented by the EFN; the medical doctors, represented by CPME, and the community pharmacists, represented by PGEU) come together to tackle vaccination hesitancy in their professions.