Mandatory and recommended vaccination in the EU, Iceland and Norway: results of the VENICE 2010 survey on the ways of implementing national vaccination programmes

Euro Surveill. 2012 May 31;17(22):20183. doi: 10.2807/ese.17.22.20183-en.


This report provides an updated overview of recommended and mandatory vaccinations in the European Union (EU), Iceland and Norway, considering the differences in vaccine programme implementation between countries. In 2010, the Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort (VENICE) network, conducted a survey among the VENICE project gatekeepers to learn more about how national vaccination programmes are implemented, whether recommended or mandatory. Information was collected from all 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. In total 15 countries do not have any mandatory vaccinations; the remaining 14 have at least one mandatory vaccination included in their programme. Vaccination against polio is mandatory for both children and adults in 12 countries; diphtheria and tetanus vaccination in 11 countries and hepatitis B vaccination in 10 countries. For eight of the 15 vaccines considered, some countries have a mixed strategy of recommended and mandatory vaccinations. Mandatory vaccination may be considered as a way of improving compliance to vaccination programmes. However, compliance with many programmes in Europe is high, using only recommendations. More information about the diversity in vaccine offer at European level may help countries to adapt vaccination strategies based on the experience of other countries. However, any proposal on vaccine strategies should be developed taking into consideration the local context habits.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Communicable Disease Control / standards*
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • European Union
  • Guideline Adherence / standards
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Plan Implementation*
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Iceland / epidemiology
  • Immunization Programs*
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Mandatory Programs* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mass Vaccination / methods
  • Mass Vaccination / organization & administration*
  • National Health Programs*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Public Health Practice / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Public Health Practice / standards*
  • Referral and Consultation