An ESMO Statement submitted to the 71st Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe welcomed the Resolution on the European Immunization Agenda 2030, which urges Member States to enhance commitment to immunisation as a public health priority and commit to achieving the vision and goals outlined in the European Immunization Agenda 2030.
Recognising that immunisation is a key component of cancer prevention, the ESMO Statement highlighted how the European Immunization Agenda 2030 can help reduce the burden of some cancers through vaccines targeting cancer-causing infections, such as helicobacter pylori, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV), which together caused more than 90% of infection-related cancers worldwide according to data from GLOBOCAN 2020.
ESMO’s statement highlighted the importance of ensuring that national immunization plans set and achieve vaccination targets for HPV and HBV and emphasized that data-collection should be mandatory for monitoring of vaccine-preventable diseases through population and disease/immunisation-based registries. ESMO’s statement also suggested that for the safety and administration of new vaccines the National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups should leverage the technical expertise of Non-State Actors like ESMO and other stakeholders as appropriate. For example, patients with cancer were largely excluded from the pivotal trials of the COVID-19 vaccines being tested. Thus, ESMO as a scientific society developed 10 statements clarifying the impact of COVID-19 vaccination on patients with cancer and reinforced the message by developing a strong ‘ESMO Call to Action’ which was endorsed by over 50 healthcare professional and patient organisations.