Back in 2019, ThinkYoung built the ThinkYoung Vaccine Coalition composed of 35 young healthcare professionals from more than 20 EU countries.
Vaccines are offering a solution in a time of crisis, but vaccine hesitancy is alarmingly present across Europe. We must induce sustainable behaviour change to ensure vaccines become a social norm and with young people already taking the lead for a healthier future we believe that youth can drive this change.
That’s why in January 2019, ThinkYoung built the ThinkYoung Vaccine Coalition composed of young health professionals with more than 20 nationalities, either engaged in healthcare or in health policy. The ThinkYoung Vaccine Coalition is taking a proactive stance to advocate the important role of vaccination and prevention across Europe, both at the EU and national level.
Despite progress being made in expanding Covid-19 vaccination across Europe, the ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic to routine immunisation for Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) poses significant healthcare risks, and a higher chance of disease outbreak. Even before the pandemic this was a serious concern, with outbreaks of measles being seen in Europe between 2017 and 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe and lasting implications with the crisis that poses a considerable risk to young people. At ThinkYoung we delved deeper into the concerns and difficulties facing young healthcare professionals during a time of crisis. Our research shows that 67% of participants want a ‘healthy recovery’ instead of a ‘return to normal’.
In 2017, ThinkYoung conducted a research on Youth Vaccine Perception which was designed to investigate the awareness level of vaccination among young Europeans. Our research revealed that only the 65% of the young people interviewed considered the benefits of vaccination to outweigh the risks.
The ThinkYoung Vaccine Coalition have created a Manifesto highlighting 10 recommendations for vital actions in the field of immunisation. On January 21st, 2020 the ThinkYoung Vaccine Coalition Manifesto was launched at the European Parliament in Brussels, in presence of over 40 policymakers. This included members of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and representatives from diverse professional and civil society organisations connected to the health sector.