Vaccine Safety Initiative
The Vaccine Safety Initiative (VIVI) is an international scientific think tank and non- profit research organization. VIVI aims to promote science- informed infectious diseases and vaccine safety research and communication, stimulate thinking around critical concepts, and drive innovation in a globalized healthcare setting. Their programming facilitates the implementation of high vaccine safety and efficacy standards and serves as a platform for international and interdisciplinary scientific collaboration in infectious diseases and vaccines.
VIVI has a 10-year track record implementing successful training courses for medical students and healthcare professionals in different EU Member States. Following the circular learning model, vaccine education should start early, for example with courses in media literacy as developed by VIVI for first-semesters entitled ‘Vaccine risk benefit, what’s in the media and what does the scientific literature teach us?’ allowing students to identify online disinformation. For students taking classes in family medicine and paediatrics, ‘hands-on’ training should be provided in injection techniques and the accurate documentation of immunization events. Modules for senior students and residents included four-week electives offering supervised vaccine consultations, e-learning methodologies, multi-source evaluation, and objective structured clinical examination and OSCE stations. Multiple doctoral students have worked and currently work with VIVI while completing their dissertations on vaccine safety, disease surveillance, vaccine hesitancy, quality improvement, health economics, laboratory medicine, infectious diseases, regulatory science, clinical research, and bioethics. VIVI contributes regularly to continuing medical education (CME) activities during medical and scientific conferences, and the co-creation of online video content and practice-oriented media training based on the principles of adult learning.
European Academy of Paediatrics
The European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP) was founded in 1961. Its members include national paediatric societies from over 40 countries across Europe (28 European Union countries, 4 European Economic Area (EEA) countries and 9 non-EU countries) as well as all 14 UEMS recognised European paediatric subspecialty societies and observer countries. EAP is also the official paediatric section of the European Union of Medical Specialists (www.uems.eu) that is formally linked with the European Commission and Member State Institutions and is responsible for developing European training standards in paediatrics and paediatric subspecialties.
All countries of the European Region plus Israel are full voting members of the EAP. The European Board of Paediatrics (EBP) is embedded within the EAP and aims to maintain the highest possible standards of paediatric training across Europe. The EBP will contribute an established group working towards compatible training content and criteria across Europe. The EAP is a strong advocate for vaccination and best practice standards.
EU Coalition for Vaccination
EU Coalition for Vaccination, and the IMMUNION project (“Improving IMMunisation cooperation in the European UNION”) work to deliver better vaccine education to healthcare professionals and the general public. The Coalition aims to
around vaccines and vaccination and promote best practices that support healthcare professionals in assuring people that vaccines are safe and effective.
SEKI, in collaboration with the Coalition for Vaccination and the IMMUNION project (“Improving IMMunisation cooperation in the European UNION”) work to deliver better vaccine education to healthcare professionals and better information to the general public.
SEKI is an integral part of IMMUNION and the Coalition for Vaccination and will be developed into a one-stop training resource for healthcare professionals in Europe.
Phase 1: Recommended training content will be vetted by the SEKI team and provided via the Vaccine Education section via the SEKI platform. SEKI will amplify existing vaccine training content available through National Paediatric Associations, ADVAC, WHO and others. It will also direct user traffic to educational tools emerging from the EU-Joint Action of Vaccination, the ECDC, the EMA, and other stakeholders.
Phase 2: In a second phase, SEKI will invite users to search for training courses near their home and to pre-register, free of charge, for SEKI credits. The website will also include videos, podcasts, and other teaching formats that facilitate continuing vaccine education on the go. For those who practice regularly and successfully, a credit system will drive health workers to prioritise vaccine-related educational content over areas that they may already be familiar with.
As SEKI users advance through the training modules and collect credits, they will be able to print out a personal certificate, at any time, providing proof of completed training activities. A simple evaluation form will be added to provide standardised user-feedback. The European Board of Pediatrics has ample experience in harmonising training content across Europe and will help develop the long-term trajectory for the SEKI training credits.
Working with eight target communities throughout a 5-year project, RIVER-EU (Reducing Inequalities in Vaccine uptake in the European Region) intends to improve access to vaccination services for children and adolescents in selected underserved locations. Focusing specifically on reducing inequity in measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, RIVER-EU is working.
Health system barriers in vaccine uptake disproportionately affect specific ethnic, religious or cultural minorities across Europe and are therefore a major contributor to low vaccine uptake in these groups. RIVER-EU aims to identify and remove these barriers, specifically focusing on MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination in selected underserved communities (migrant community in Greece, Turkish females and Moroccan females in the Netherlands, Ukrainian minority in Poland and Roma community in Slovakia). First, we will analyse health system barriers and enablers to the vaccination of these communities, and then tailor existing interventions or develop new ones, which will be implemented and evaluated. Research findings will be translated in evidence-based guidelines and an educational platform for health care professionals that can be used to address equitable access to vaccination across Europe.
SEKI is part of Work Package 6 (WP6) in RIVER_EU.
WP6 in RIVER_EU will further develop the SEKI Platform to develop a ‘One-stop-shop’ for healthcare students and professionals to access materials easily. SEKI Deliverables in RIVER_EU WP6 are:
- D6.1 Establishment of an online system with up-to-date educational content for healthcare workers and medical students, which presents the possibility to register for educational activities and to collect training points once the platform has passed the testing phase.
Due date: Third quarter of 2023
- D6.2 Report based on lessons learned in RIVER-EU and exclusive Strengthening Education and Knowledge on Immunisation (SEKI) training materials dedicated to cultural competency working on migrant and minority health, as well as online platform sustainability.
Due date: Second quarter of 2026
WP6 Leader: Vaccine Safety Initiative (VIVI)
For more information please refer to the RIVER-EU website
The ImmuHubs Project aims to reduce the transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases through an increased vaccination uptake among disadvantaged, isolated, and difficult-to-reach population groups. Each ImmuHub will focus on capacity building and knowledge transfer to assist the local region in developing its own sustainable immunization system to last beyond the project’s lifetime.
The ImmuHubs Project aims to reduce transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases through an increased vaccination uptake among disadvantaged, isolated, and difficult to reach population groups.
Paving the way for breakthrough innovation, the ImmuHubs project is interdisciplinary and intersectoral in its approach, across borders. It is a bridge among different stakeholders that work towards the same direction: a sustainable, innovative, culturally sensitive, bottom-up approach to improve trust and vaccine uptake.
SEKI is part of the sustainability plan for the ImmuHubs project. SEKI will regularly monitor outputs emerging from ImmuHubs to stay on top of emerging new information on educational needs and knowledge gaps in the healthcare workforce in Europe, especially with regards to vaccine access in at-risk population groups. These learnings will be taken forward in SEKI to improve the sustainability of ImmuHubs outputs beyond the lifetime of the EU-funded project.
The SymptomSurvey aims to learn from the perspective of patients and caregivers to increase the quality of care. They collect input from various sources to identify which symptoms are present, what improvements could be made, and how the road to recovery can be smoother for all parties involved.