Health inequities in the European Region

Europe is on track to achieve the Health 2020 target to reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes mellitus and chronic respiratory diseases by 1.5 percent annually until 2020. However, there are other challenges for the European Region, like those concerning health inequalities among countries.

Using communication to fight epidemics

During epidemics, pandemics, natural or environmental disasters, the problem of communication is one of the primary issues to deal with, and scientists and stakeholders know this well. It is a two-sided issue: communicating risk without creating any alarms, and an effective communication between persons who manage emergencies.

Estimated benefit of influenza vaccination

A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) claimed that flu vaccination allowed preventing about 6.6 million influenza-associated illnesses during the 2012-2013 season. CDC experts use data from previous seasons to estimate the impact of the next flu wave. Usually, these numbers speak of about 200,000 expected hospitalizations. However, last year 79,000 hospitalizations were prevented thanks to the flu vaccine.

How many B antigens should a good influenza vaccine have?

The vaccine against seasonal influenza is called trivalent, because it contains viruses representing three influenza strains: one A/H1N1, one A/H3N2, and one B. the single B-lineage antigen included is the one that is predicted to circulate in the related season. However, this means that some mismatch between the B antigen in the vaccine and the B antigen actually circulating may occur, this being a problem since cross-protection by immunization against the other lineage is expected to be low.