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As the most important tool of primary prevention, vaccinations target a large number of healthy individuals in each Member State.
National immunization programmes and policies vary among EU/EEA countries; immunisation delivery services, health services infrastructures, systems to monitor vaccination coverage and adverse events are quite different among states, making difficult any comparison of national available data. Meanwhile several new vaccines are available, or in the development pipeline, and their introduction is not homogeneous among the Member States.
On the contrary, the impact of a vaccination programme has an impact beyond political borders of a state, especially in the European context where people migrate and travel freely.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has decided to establish a network dedicated to Vaccine Preventable Diseases, that could be considered an evolution of the VENICE and VENICE II network, with the objectives of collecting, sharing and disseminating information on national immunization programmes through a network of professionals and providing information useful to build up methodologies and provide guidance for improving the overall performance of the immunisation systems in the EU/EEA Member States.
The sharing of experiences and expertise and the integration of available tools and knowledge on vaccine-related issues among member states represents an important resource to improve the acceptance of national immunization programs and vaccine uptake in Europe. A strong collaboration among states and a detailed knowledge of the current status of each country's immunisation programmes are essential to reduce the heterogeneity among states and create a common model and common tools.