Individual European countries decide which vaccines should be part of their national vaccination programmes and funded by their national health systems. This is based on local conditions, such as how common the disease is, as well as economic factors.
Most national vaccination programmes in the EU/EEA include vaccines for up to twenty diseases which are given to people at specific ages. In addition, vaccines to protect against specific diseases are sometimes recommended for ‘high-risk’ groups, such as people with long-term health conditions or people planning to travel to other parts of the world.
Some vaccines protect against only one disease, but others protect against more than one. Sometimes, more than one vaccine may be given at once to protect against several infectious diseases. Combined use of vaccines is well established and based on scientific studies on its benefits and safety.
Benefits of vaccinating
Vaccines prevent diseases that could otherwise cause serious health problems, permanent disability or even death.
Approval of vaccines in the European Union
Before a vaccine can be approved in the EU, it has to undergo rigorous testing by its developer...
Monitoring vaccine safety and reporting side effects
Once a vaccine is approved for use, EU/EEA national authorities and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), continually monitor side effects in people who have received the vaccine.
A vaccine's ability to prevent a specific disease determines its effectiveness.
How vaccines work
Each virus and bacterium triggers a unique response in the immune system involving a specific set of cells in the blood...