The EESC supports the Commission's proposal as a timely response to the urgent health threats facing the EU today, namely vaccine hesitancy, declining coverage for specific diseases, unprecedented outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, discrepancies between national vaccination programmes and vaccine shortages.
The EESC calls on the Commission to raise awareness on the importance of vaccination. All communication channels, including mainstream and social media, should be used to provide science-based and accessible information for citizens and organisations. The Union must also work towards improving Europeans' vaccine literacy by improving digital health literacy
The EESC calls on the Member States to put in place measures to protect healthcare professionals from exposure to a wide range of diseases. This should be done by ensuring full and effective implementation of Directive 2000/54/EC.
The EESC also recommends Member State to step up efforts to reach out to more vulnerable population groups such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, minority groups and populations with specific underlying health conditions. Challenges currently facing Member States range from vaccine hesitancy to demographic changes in relation to population ageing and the increased movement of people, which have an impact on the risks of pathogen exposure across the Union. The EESC calls on the Member States to share best practices and know-how in addressing these challenges.