An electronic immunisation record system is required to help EU member states enhance their cross-border cooperation and simultaneously enhance prevention of infectious diseases, said Brian Hayes MEP.
“We are experiencing hesitancy with regard to the uptake of vaccines, both here in Ireland and in other EU member states. For example, the rate of uptake for HPV cervical cancer vaccination has fallen 15 per cent over the past two years among young girls, this is concerning.
“As well as putting the future health of our citizens at risk, we are insufficiently prepared against infectious diseases and we must minimise the outbreaks risk,” he explained, adding that the measles outbreaks in the EU are on the rise and have caused 42 deaths in EU countries between 2016 and 2017.
“In Ireland, we have a Child Immunisation Tracker App, which parents can use to manage their children’s immunisation schedules. However, language barriers and differences in the vaccine schedule from one region to the next mean such documents are not always useful when travelling
“An electronic immunisation database for EU states, which the European Commisson is in favour of, will provide a history of all the vaccines adults or children have received. Through this data gathering, EU countries will be able to properly monitor the vaccination of the population and upgrade cross-border cooperation in the event of diseases’ outbreaks.
“Citizens will want to be assured that their data will not be misused, so strong governance around this will be essential.
“However, if implemented, such a system will also help EU citizens, who need treatment or move to another country, be able to present their whole health record, while helping policymakers encourage vaccination as well as monitoring its proper implementation.”