Supporting policies to boost vaccination coverage against cancer-causing viruses
As prevention offers a cost-effective long-term strategy for addressing the impact of cancer on society, ESMO is supportive of increasing vaccination coverage against cancer-causing viruses such as Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) and the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). To this end, it is important that robust policies - at the national, regional and global levels - are established to make vaccines more easily accessible and raise public awareness of the health benefits of vaccines.
At European Union (EU) level, the European Commission is currently preparing a proposal for an EU Council Recommendation on vaccine-preventable cancers. This act will set non-binding recommendations - for the consideration of the EU Member States - aimed at addressing the cancer risks linked to HPV and HBV infections.
ESMO welcomes this policy initiative and provided feedback to the Call for Evidence on vaccine-preventable cancers held in February 2023, highlighting the need to:
- Remove obstacles - both physical and non-physical - to HPV and HBV vaccination;
- Prevent mitigated strategies towards HPV and HBV vaccination across EU Member States;
- Encourage the implementation of the recommendations at the national level;
- Allocate sufficient EU funding to support the implementation of the Council Recommendation.
In addition, ESMO believes that EU action on vaccination must also have a global dimension and that such efforts should be fully aligned with both the EU’s Global Health Strategy and the 2022 Council Conclusions on Vaccination.