Immunization Highlights 2015 (2016)
The WHO/Europe annual report on its immunization activities in 2015 provides an overview of the support provided to Member States of the WHO European Region in pursuing the goals and objectives of the European Vaccine Action Plan 2015–2020 (EVAP). It covers both the accomplishments of 2015 and the challenges that lie ahead to meet the Region's immunization targets. In 2015, protection from more vaccine-preventable diseases was provid- ed through the introduction of new vaccines in several countries. 32 countries demonstrated interruption of measles and/or rubella transmission - a significant achievement for such a large and diverse Region, but far short of its potential. Through concerted efforts, the Region maintained its polio-free status as of the end of 2014, but was also dramatically tested by a vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreak in Ukraine that put millions of un- or undervaccinated children at acute risk of contracting the disease. National immunization programmes, evidence-based decision making and disease surveillance were strengthened and tools were introduced to address vaccine hesitancy through better communication. In the context of competing public health priorities and a complex global market, the Regional Office contributed to innovative methods to achieve sustainable access to funding and vaccine supplies.