Vaccine inequalities in coverage between population groups arise because vaccine barriers among disadvantaged groups are not addressed through policies, structures, governance or programme implementation. While much emphasis is put on vaccine hesitancy and individual choices, evidence shows that suboptimal vaccine coverage is due to many factors, including social determinants and health system barriers. Nonetheless, there are several EU and international policies and programmes that could be put in place to foster vaccine equity.
This January, EuroHealthNet released a policy précis on ‘Improving Vaccine Equity’. This brief document resumes actions taken by various EU organizations and EU-funded initiatives to improve vaccine equity. It also highlights examples of communities that are affected by vaccine inequity throughout Europe, and closes the document by pointing out which actions form a consistent pathway to progress in this field.
A good starting point for policymakers and health authorities is to take into account that social determinants and health system barriers play a role in immunization that is as critical as vaccine hesitancy.
For the full policy précis, click here: https://eurohealthnet.eu/wp-content/uploads/publications/2023/2301_pp_vaccineequity.pdf