EU steps up the fight against vaccine-preventable cancers under Europe's Beating Cancer Plan

The Commission welcomes the adoption of a set of recommendations on vaccine-preventable cancers by Member States today, a key deliverable under Europe's Beating Cancer Plan.

Proposed by the Commission in January, the Council Recommendation aims to increase the uptake of vaccination against viruses that can lead to cancers Human papillomaviruses (HPV) and Hepatitis B virus (HBV). By boosting vaccination uptake, Member States can prevent cancers caused by these viruses, save lives and reduce the pressures on health systems. The Recommendation will also help countries to better monitor vaccination coverage rates, to identify where gaps may need to be addressed.

To eliminate cervical cancer and other cancers caused by HPV, Europe's Beating Cancer Plan has set a target for Member States to reach HPV vaccination rates of 90% for girls and to significantly increase the vaccination of boys by 2030. The Cancer Plan also aims to ensure access and increased uptake of the HBV vaccination, notably to prevent liver cancer.

The Recommendation includes a series of other measures that Member States can take to improve the uptake of vaccination against HPV and HBV:

  • Providing vaccination free of charge or fully reimbursing costs;
  • Establishing electronic vaccination registries;
  • Ensuring easy access to vaccination, in particular for groups at high risk or in disadvantaged situations;
  • Integrating vaccination in cancer prevention programmes;
  • Strengthening communication efforts and addressing mis- and disinformation.

For HPV, the Council Recommendation promotes vaccination for both girls and boys. For Hepatitis B virus, it promotes vaccination for all affected population groups.

The Commission will support Member States in the implementation of the Recommendation including with a EUR 20 million joint action under the EU4Health 2024 Work Programme. 

For More Information

Proposal for a Council recommendation on vaccine-preventable cancers

Factsheet “Europe's Beating Cancer Plan: Making a difference”

Europe's Beating Cancer Plan

Factsheet on vaccination coverage

Data on cancer prevalence

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