Europe and Vaccines: Will Europe Remain the Traditional Hub for Global Vaccines?

Published on: 2018/05/11


Although Europe continues to lead the global vaccines sector in terms of production, exports, and R&D of vaccines, current trends indicate diminishing R&D dominance in Europe and rapid shift in power to the U.S.

This article outlines the overview of the EU vaccines market, rapid shift in power to the U.S. market and strategic recommendations to strengthen Europe’s ground.

Interest Category

Europe and Vaccines, Vaccines, Lifescience

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Vaccination safeguards individuals, especially children, from serious illness caused by diseases that are preventable. The illness or complication from these diseases may be serious and life-threatening. The illness can include amputation of leg or arm, hearing loss, brain damage, paralysis or death. The diseases like whooping cough, measles, and mumps are generally prevented by vaccines, otherwise still remain a threat. Infants are usually affected by these diseases, if not vaccinated.

Europe and Vaccines

Vaccines are public health interventions implemented across many countries to decrease the instances of deadly diseases and outbreak. Europe is the leader in vaccines for several years. This is mainly achieved by,

  1. Committed industry – by ensuring the availability of vaccines by maintaining demand and supply
  2. Ensuring the highest quality of vaccines
  3. Having a check on the future requirement of vaccines.

Vaccines help in preventing death and illness from preventable diseases. Mainly administered to,

  1. Newborns, infants and young children – Tetanus, diphtheria, Polio, Pertussis, Invasive Hib, Mumps, measles, pneumococcal diseases, rotavirus, hepatitis A and B, rubella and influenza
  2. Adolescents – Cervical cancer (HPV), meningitis, boosters.
  3. Pregnant women – Influenza, pertussis.
  4. Adults – Influenza, health vaccines, and booster vaccines
  5. Travelers – Yellow fever, malaria, dengue, tick-borne encephalitis
  6. Senior people – influenza, pneumococcus, herpes zoster.

Vaccines Europe is a specialized group within the EFPIA – European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. VE represents major research-based vaccine companies in Europe and also many small and medium vaccine companies or enterprises that operate out of Europe. These vaccines are used worldwide. Europe accounts for a large share of human vaccines globally.

According to the Vaccines Europe group 2014 data, 86 percent of the vaccines produced by the Vaccines Europe group are exported worldwide. Out of this, 50 percent of the exports are going to humanitarian groups like UNICEF< PAHO, GAV1, 34 percent is used by the rest of the world, 6 percent is used by Asia and 6 percent is going to North America. Europe accounts for 2 billion euros of R&D spending globally. (1)

Public health benefits from vaccines

Vaccines have innumerable benefits and it is the most cost-effective public health policy. The vaccines have eradicated and reduced the occurrence of a number of life-threatening diseases. One such example is smallpox, in the US the total number of smallpox cases in 1988 was 29005, in 2014 smallpox is completely eradicated in the US. Similarly, there were 350000 reported polio cases in 1988, in 2014, the number stands at 359.

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