Brussels, Sep 12 : The European Commission and the World Health Organisation (WHO) will co-host a Global Vaccination Summit on Thursday in Brussels, Belgium.
The event takes place under the joint auspices of the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
This high-level one-day event aims to bring together around 400 people, including political leaders, high-level representatives from the UN and other international organisations, health ministries, leading academics, scientists and health professionals, the private sector, social media influencers, and NGOs.
The goal is to propel global action against vaccine preventable diseases and against the spread of vaccine misinformation. It will demonstrate EU leadership for vaccination, boost political commitment towards eliminating vaccine preventable diseases and engage political leaders and leaders from scientific, medical, industry, philanthropic, digital media and civil society.
Vaccination is the most successful public health measure of modern times. Thanks to widespread vaccination, smallpox has been eradicated and Europe made polio-free, with polio worldwide endemic to just three countries in 2018. Vaccination prevents an estimated 2.5 million deaths worldwide each year and reduces disease-specific treatment costs.
Despite its track record, many countries around the world are currently facing unprecedented outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases due to insufficient vaccination coverage rates.
Unequal access to vaccines and in some places, threats to public confidence in vaccination are a cause for concern, and a major challenge for public health. WHO declared vaccine misinformation as one of the main health threats for 2019.