Volume 30, Issue 33 pp. 4897-5058 (13 July 2012)
Variation in adult vaccination policies across Europe: An overview from VENICE network on vaccine recommendations, funding and coverage
Original Research Article
Elisabeth E. Kanitz, Lauren A. Wu, Cristina Giambi, Raymond A. Strikas, Daniel Levy-Bruhl, Pawel Stefanoff, Jolita Mereckiene, Eva Appelgren, Fortunato D’Ancona, VENICE (Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort) National Gatekeepers, Contact Points
In 2010–2011, in the framework of the VENICE project, we surveyed European Union (EU) and Economic Area (EEA) countries to fill the gap of information regarding vaccination policies in adults. This project was carried out in collaboration with the United States National Vaccine Program Office, who conducted a similar survey in all developed countries.
VENICE representatives of all 29 EU/EEA-countries received an online questionnaire including vaccination schedule, recommendations, funding and coverage in adults for 17 vaccine-preventable diseases.
The response rate was 100%. The definition of age threshold for adulthood for the purpose of vaccination ranged from 15 to 19 years (median = 18 years). EU/EEA-countries recommend between 4 and 16 vaccines for adults (median = 11 vaccines). Tetanus and diphtheria vaccines are recommended to all adults in 22 and 21 countries respectively. The other vaccines are mostly recommended to specific risk groups; recommendations for seasonal influenza and hepatitis B exist in all surveyed countries. Six countries have a comprehensive summary document or schedule describing all vaccines which are recommended for adults. None of the surveyed countries was able to provide coverage estimates for all the recommended adult vaccines.
Vaccination policies for adults are not consistent across Europe, including the meaning of “recommended vaccine” which is not comparable among countries. Coverage data for adults should be collected routinely like for children vaccination.