There has been a fourfold increase in cases of measles, with more than 20 000 people affected and 35 deaths in the course of 2017. The highest number of cases was recorded in Romania, Italy and Ukraine.
The Commission has stated that it is committed to supporting Member States in improving vaccination coverage, addressing shortages and strengthening immunisation programmes. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) described the 2017 figures as a tragedy.
1. Is the Commission willing to carry out a review in order to promote a more effective strategy and ensure that the decline in vaccinations is reversed?
2. Since measles is a highly infectious viral illness, will the Commission see to it that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) steps up its efforts and ensures that there are no interruptions in vaccine supply and that disease surveillance systems do not underperform?
3. The WHO has also pointed to the consistently low coverage among some marginalised groups. What proposals are being put forward to reach out to these groups and ensure that the vaccine is available and free of charge?