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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)
News article25 April 2022European Health and Digital Executive Agency

A healthier Europe through better vaccines

European Immunisation week
(c) European Union 2022

From 24-30 April 2022, the European Immunisation Week raises awareness on the importance of immunisation for people’s health and well-being. On this occasion, it is important to highlight the crucial role vaccination plays in global health.

Vaccines trigger an immune response, without causing the actual disease. This provides protection against a potential infection. Thanks to widespread vaccination in Europe, many dangerous diseases have been eradicated, including smallpox and polio.

Despite these successes, Europe is still facing serious healthcare challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of coordinating health research and innovation among European countries. The delay or refusal of vaccination without medical indication has become a serious threat to global health.

The European Commission is committed to funding medical research and innovation via the Horizon Europe programme (previously Horizon 2020 programme). The Commission also supports EU countries in coordinating their policies and programmes through ongoing tenders and service contracts under the EU4Health programme.

Here below is a selection of examples from the Horizon 2020 and EU4Health programmes. 


The European Corona Vaccine Trial Accelerator Platform (VACCELERATE) is a Horizon 2020 pan-European clinical research network for the coordination and conduct of COVID-19 vaccine trials. The project connects all stakeholders involved in vaccine development and maximises opportunities for high quality trials.  

VACCELERATE currently implements two trials, assessing the immune response of a second booster vaccine in the elderly (over 75 years old) and in the general adult population, respectively. A third trial is in preparation, to evaluate regimens of reduced-dose vaccination in children.

Furthermore, the network maps new clinical trial sites and facilitates access to these for interested developers. The project uses the European Vaccine Trial Accelerator Platform (EUPAV) – a database that puts individual sites in contact with clinical trial sponsors.


The Horizon 2020 project VAX-TRUST aims at increasing understanding of vaccine hesitancy and improving the interaction between healthcare professionals and vaccine hesitant individuals, especially parents. The project provides healthcare professionals with tailored analysis on regional vaccine hesitancy, customised tools and recommendations to counter vaccine hesitancy.

Performance of national vaccination programmes

With this call for tenders, the EU4Health programme will support EU countries in monitoring the performance of their national vaccination programmes and services. The selected service provider is expected to carry out a mapping of existing methodologies to monitor the performance of all national vaccination programmes and develop a set of recommendations for EU countries.

The call for tenders closes on 25 April 2022.


Horizon 2020 (H2020) was the EU’s multiannual funding programme between 2014 and 2020. H2020 provided Research and Innovation (R&I) funding for multi-national collaboration projects as well as for individual researchers and SMEs via special funding instruments. Horizon 2020 has been replaced by the Horizon Europe programme, which will run until 2027.

The EU4Health programme is the EU’s largest one to date in monetary terms, with a budget of €5.3 billion in current prices. EU4Health provides funding to national authorities, health organisations and other bodies through grants and public procurement, contributing to a healthier Europe.

The EU strategy for COVID-19 vaccines was created to accelerate the development, manufacturing and deployment of vaccines against COVID-19. The Commission first presented the strategy on 17 June, 2020.

Relevant links

Horizon 2020 Health

Horizon Europe Health


EU4Health open tenders

EU4health open calls


Publication date
25 April 2022
European Health and Digital Executive Agency
Programme Sector
EU4HealthHorizon EuropeHorizon Europe Cluster 1: Health
COVID-19EUFundedHealthUnionInnovationMedical researchScientific research