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Divergent COVID-19 vaccine policies: policy mapping of ten European countries

van Kessel, Robin, Forman, Rebecca, Milstein, Ricarda, Mastylak, Alicja, Czabanowska, Katarzyna, Czypionka, Thomas, Durand-Zaleski, Isabelle, Hirche, Anja, Krysinska-Pisarek, Magdalena, Roberts, Bjelle, Maynou-Pujolras, Laia ORCID: 0000-0002-0447-2959, Torbica, Aleksandra, Wang, Yuxi, Vrangbæk, Karsten, Wouters, Olivier J. ORCID: 0000-0002-2514-476X and Mossialos, Elias (2023) Divergent COVID-19 vaccine policies: policy mapping of ten European countries. Vaccine, 41 (17). 2804 - 2810. ISSN 0264-410X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2023.03.036


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fragmented nature of governmental policy decisions in Europe. However, the extent to which COVID-19 vaccination policies differed between European countries remains unclear. Here, we mapped the COVID-19 vaccination policies that were in effect in January 2022 as well as booster regulations in April 2022 in Austria, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. Methods: National public health and health policy experts from these ten European nations developed and completed an electronic questionnaire. The questionnaire included a series of questions that addressed six critical components of vaccine implementation, including (1) authorization, (2) prioritization, (3) procurement and distribution, (4) data collection, (5) administration, and (6) mandate requirements. Results: Our findings revealed significant variations in COVID-19 vaccination policies across Europe. We observed critical differences in COVID-19 vaccine formulations authorized for use, as well as the specific groups that were provided with priority access. We also identified discrepancies in how vaccination-related data were recorded in each country and what vaccination requirements were implemented. Conclusion: Each of the ten European nations surveyed in this study reported different COVID-19 vaccination policies. These differences complicated efforts to provide a coordinated pandemic response. These findings might alert policymakers in Europe of the need to coordinate their efforts to avoid fostering divergent and socially disruptive policies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: LSE Health
Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2023 10:30
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2023 17:06

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