One step closer to digitalise children’s vaccination status on a European level

20 European experts gathered mid-September in Brussels for a two day meeting about how to make children’s up to date vaccination cards and immunisation registries more available to healthcare professionals, by linking this vital information to electronic patient summaries.

The ‘Digital health policies for Children’s Health’ workshop was about strengthening children’s immunisation in Europe through health data standards and about connecting patient summaries to EU vaccination cards and immunisation registries. 
Immunisation information of children could be vital in emergency situations, to determine the level of immunity of a child who has been exposed to an infection risk, such as tetanus or meningitis. It can also be useful for the care professional to advise a child or parent if the child is due for a vaccine or booster or has fallen behind schedule.
This fits within the context of both the European Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO) seeking to drive higher child immunisation uptake, and effective holistic child health care.

Data flows

At the workshop medical and public health experts in child health, including representatives from the WHO, met with representatives from several national immunisation programmes, experts in electronic health records and international health informatics standards and representatives of the European Commission. Together, they examined the data flows that would be needed to enable care professionals to be informed of immunisation status when they attend a child, the feasibility of harmonising the core information at a European level, the data protection and ethical issues that would need to be catered for. They also discussed how a better supply of immunisation status could facilitate improved uptake, and what practical steps are recommended for action in the near future.
The outcomes of this meeting and a suggested plan of action will be explored in more depth at a next event hosted by the WHO on 21 and 22 November 2018, in Copenhagen.
The meeting was hosted by CEN Technical Committee 251 (a technical decision making body within the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) working on standardisation in the field of eHealth in the EU) and was organised in collaboration with the European research project Trillium II working on International Patient Summaries, and the MOCHA project which explores the primary care policies for children in 30 countries.
For more information on this child-health initiative or if you are interested in joining the stakeholder meeting in Copenhagen  hosted by WHO Europe, please email euoffice at  

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No GA727816.

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