Influenza is a communicable disease of considerable public health significance. In the EU alone, it is responsible for up to 50 million disease episodes, 150,000 hospital admissions and 40,000 deaths every year (1).
Vaccines are the cornerstone of preventing influenza but their effectiveness can vary from year to year and across recipient groups. While influenza vaccine effectiveness is being evaluated annually in many EU member states, the results are generally not timely, specific or robust enough to guide public health measures nor gain a thorough understanding of influenza vaccine effectiveness.
Moreover, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has requested effectiveness evaluation for all individual influenza vaccine brands, a task that demands an international cooperation between public health institutions and vaccine manufacturers.