Life course immunization approach across Europe: Focus on Hungary, Poland and Spain
In April 2019, the Italian NGO Cittadinanzattiva, through its international branch Active Citizenship Network (ACN) launched, during the European immunization week, a new project called “European Active Citizens for Vaccination”. The aim was to improve the awareness on the importance of vaccination across Europe: the scientific evidence is clear, vaccination is an essential public health tool and helps to guarantee our fundamental rights as a European citizen. ACN realized a social media communication campaign supporting and spreading awareness on the topic of life-course vaccination: videos were made in all the national languages of the involved countries (Italy, Hungary, Poland, Ireland and Spain) and then produced, shared and customized for each country. Moreover, an informative leaflet in different languages has been produced. Civic consultations on the National Immunization Plan in the countries involved were held in: Hungary, Poland and Spain. The focus group meetings took place in Budapest, Warsaw and Madrid between November and December 2019. This article describes the main results of the three focus group on the topic of vaccination and its related policies. It also includes some advises, opinions, recommendations on how to remove those barriers to a life-long immunization approach in the national vaccination plans. These recommendations are offered to the policy makers and to the stakeholders as a contribution from the civil society engaged in the safeguard of health as a common good.