The Engagement of Cittadinanzattiva on Vaccination

Cittadinanzattiva has a more than 30 year experience in the protection of citizens' rights in the health sector, which initiated with its Tribunale per i diritti del malato ("Tribunal for Patients' Rights" or TDM) in 1980 and was later strengthened through the Coordinamento nazionale Associazioni Malati Cronici (National Coordination Centre of Chronic Patients' Associations) in 1996.

Over the last 20 years, it has been increasing its contributions for the promotion and protection of citizens' rights in the fields of vaccination:

Protection against violations of the right of individual citizens, through its free-of-charge counselling, information and support service provided by 300 TDM offices located nationwide.

  • Collection and dissemination of best practiceswith many editions of national prizes on humanization.
  • Promotion of information and awareness raising campaignsfor the citizens.
  • Actions designed to promote cultural changes, though panels organised with health workers, health corporations, institutional representatives; position paper on vaccination policies, guide etc.
  • Institutional mediation, aimed at strengthening the protection of rights
  • Production of citizens' information, i.e. information directly produced by citizens, "based on their point of view, starting from the data directly or indirectly acquired and meant for changing the current state of affairs with a view to effectively improving the protection of citizens' rights and achieving conditions for effective protection" by means of follow-ups, enquiries and citizens' audits.

Each year in Italy we collect an average of 25,000 among complaints and requests of information from patients and citizens. And each year we present different Annual Reports to the Ministry of Health and relevant healthcare stakeholders, providing them a civic point of view about the daily relationship between the National Health System and Italian citizens and describing the state of the art of the access to health services in the different Italian regions also about, of course, vaccination services, coverage etc.

Some of the main examples:

Observatory on Federalism in Health Report 2011- 201220132015 - 2016- 2017

PIT Salute Report: XVIIIediton  XXedition

Annual Report on Pharmacies 2018

Our commitment has been appreciated by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the Agency of the European Union aimed at strengthening Europe's defense against infectious diseases that, in 2016,  has decided to officially include Cittadinanzattiva in the ECDC Technical Advisory Group dealing with vaccine coverage. And as members of this Advisory Group we feel a great responsibility in continuing to commit ourselves to this issue: we believe that a widespread vaccination culture is necessary, particularly to overcome the idea that we only get vaccinated when we are young and, instead, to shift to (a common knowledge linked to) a life-course vaccination approach which prevents a series of diseases even during adulthood.

A few of last Cittadinanzattiva's promoted and implemented initiatives at national level

2018 #Rompilatrasmissione (breack the broadcasting): information campaign on vaccination in Italy 
Cittadinanzattiva-Tribunal for patients’ rights has promoted #rompilatrasmissione, an information campaign designed to illustrate citizens the benefits of prophylaxis. With our campaign we want to inform citizens about the existence of vaccines to protect themselves at any age; to report when and for how long they are free, to favor a widespread vaccination culture, which overcomes the obligation and makes the choices of protection through vaccines an aware choice, through correct, scientific and evidence-based information in a more friendly environment of organizations that deliver vaccines across Italy.
Read more,  download the guide (IT), see some examples of the social campaign

2018 Vaccination training tour Cittadinanzattiva -Tribunal for patients’ rights realized, in several Italian cities,  training seminars opened to their  volunteers to provide correct information on the rights and duties in the vaccination field; give concrete answers to citizens' questions, implementing more direct communication and information initiatives; safeguards and monitors the application of the rules. Read more (IT)



November 16th 2018 "Open day"  On November 16th 2018 took place an "Open day" in 37 cities of Italian 11 regions: Cittadinanzattiva- Tribunal for Patients’ Rights local offices open to give information on vaccines and help citizens to face any critical issues in this area. Activists and experts met citizens to promote proximity information, distributing useful material and collecting reports in order to offer tools and support to protect themselves. Read more


2019: In the Jury panel of the contest #PerchéSì. Read more

Training initiatives on vaccines for advocacy groups
A series of training initiatives titled “Vaccinations; rights and duties today: learn to teach and to promote empowerment” was launched by Cittadinanzattiva on the 22nd of October 2019. The first initiative took place in Rome the same day with the local chapter of the Association of Medical and Dental Doctors. The goal of the initiative is to improve the understanding of vaccination among constituencies and activists. There will be two more dates of the training tour in other Italian cities. If you want to know more, click here. (IT language)

Information Campaign about Influenza Vaccination launched
On the 23rd of October 2019, Cittadinanzattiva launched in Italy the second edition of its campaign on vaccination called #Rompilatrasmissione. This year it will focus on flu vaccination. To know more and to download the guide for citizens, click here (IT language)

A few of last Active Citizenship Network's promoted and implemented initiatives at European level

28 February 2018  “The challenges of life-course vaccination to enhance public health protection in Europe: a multi-stakeholder approach” In line with its multi annual commitment on the topic, Active Citizenship Network with this initiative intended to demonstrate what citizens and advocacy groups, in partnership with stakeholders can offer in terms of raise awareness about the phenomenon, enhance the body of knowledge of positive cases and success, and strengthen commitment to this topic. The event was realized in the European Parliament and it has been be hosted by the MEP David Borrelli in the framework of the MEPs Interest Group “European Patients’ Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare”. Read more


6th November 2018 European active citizens advocate for vaccination – EU training seminar ACN organized an European training seminar on the theme of life-course vaccination opened to at 20 selected leaders of civic and patients associations coming from different countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Albania, Kosovo, Croatia, Malta...). The reason was to responds to the need to be more up-to-date and prepared in the face of a phenomenon (the decrease in vaccination coverage) that has returned to topical relevance; to better identify, recognize and struggle the increased external factors that can negatively influence the vaccine policy in EU Member States and have updated information & knowing how to recognize official sources of information. To know more about the initiative click here


7th November 2018 European active citizens advocate for vaccination – Public event at EU Parliament The event organized the 7th of November 2018 by Active Citizenship Network at the EU Parliament was aimed to build a close collaboration and dialogue with European institutions and stakeholders across the health care spectrum to determine how we can work together to a more effective civic society engagement in vaccination policies. The event hosted a  well-attended panel discussion that brought together MEPs, the Deputy Director General DG SANTE, the leader of the Joint Action on Vaccination, experts and of course representative of civic society very active on the theme of vaccination. A strong engagement by all stakeholders to tackle issue of low vaccination coverage and equity in access to vaccination has been called.  Read more

Martin Seychell, Deputy Director-General for Health and Food Safety, with Mariano Votta, Director Active Citizenship Network and Suzanne Wait, The Health Policy Partnership

European Joint Action on Vaccination - On December 14th 2018 Active Citizenship Network and INSERM, the coordinator of the EU-JAV, signed a MoU which recognized ACN as official stakeholder and collaborating partner to the EU-JAV. In particular, ACN is interested in the activities linked with the Work Packages N°2 (Dissemination of the Project), N°4 (Integration in National Policies and Sustainability) and N°8 (Vaccine hesitancy and uptake. From research and practices to implementation). To download our short summary of the EU-JAV 2019 General Assembly Meeting, click here

ACN took part at the EU-JAV on-line General Assembly 2020 the 30th of September and the 1st of October. This meeting provided the opportunity, through plenary sessions, to have a precise view of the EU-JAV achievements, ongoing projects, and planned actions; it allowed interactions between the participants and the EU-JAV team thought Q&A session and informal discussions.


“Coalition on Vaccination”
The Coalition is based on the 2018 EU Council Recommendation on strengthened cooperation against vaccine-preventable diseases, and ACN was invited by the EU Commission to join the initiative together with associations of healthcare professionals and other relevant stakeholder to address myths about vaccination and exchange best practices. To download our short summary of the 2nd meeting, click here
In particular, Active Citizenship Network has been appointed as a correspondent by the EU Commission.
The 1st meeting, titled “Towards a Coalition on Vaccination” was realized last March 4th 2019, while the 2nd meeting last 11th September 2019, both in Bruxelles.

European active citizens for vaccination - 2019”: pan-EU project on vaccination led by ACN
Active Citizenship Network launched in April during the 2019 European immunization week a new initiative at the European level called “European active citizens for vaccination - 2019”. Thanks to this project  ACN realized a Video for a social media communication campaign: a short spot with flash interviews with ordinary citizens who talk about the topic of vaccines, providing positive data taken from official sources. Five different versions of the spot has been created with subtitles in Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish and English. Moreover it has been realized 3 national focus group on the specific theme of “the life-course immunization approach in the national immunization plan” to find together proposals and gather impressions, suggestions, advices on that aspect. Here all the reports. To know more about this new initiative, click here.

Young Coalition for Prevention & Vaccination
In 2018-2020 Active Citizenship Network was involved in this initiative led by ThinkYoung whit the aim to draft a manifesto by 2020 with concrete proposals for increasing awareness and uptake of vaccinations.
The Young Coalition for Prevention & Vaccination (YC4PV) brings together student organizations, health policy activists, patient associations, and the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. To know more about this initiative, click here. The YC4PV created a Manifesto capturing 10 recommendations for actions in the field of immunization to present to the newly elected MEPs and Commissioners. To download the Manifesto officially launched on 21st January 2020 at the EU Parliament, click here

Joined for Vaccination: Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Vaccination uptake in EU. A Multi Stakeholder Perspective
On the 28th of February 2020 Active Citizenship Network carried out an event at the European Parliament in the framework of the Launch of the second term of the MEP Interest Group European Patients' Rights and Cross-Border Healthcare. The aim of the initiative was to bring together stakeholders to tackle vaccination on EU level. It was hosted by Brando Benifei, co-chair of the Interest Group. To know more about this initiative, click here

#COVID19 & its impact on the vaccination plan
National level: The Italian Federation of General Practitioners-FIMMG (Italian Federation of General Practitioners) and my organization Cittadinanzattiva have written to the Government and Regions for setting up the flu and pneumococcal vaccination campaign that starts early, in October, and that provides for the lowering of the free administration to 55 years. Indications involving the need for additional supplies of flu shots. Articles: ABCDEFGH, etc. (IT). Video interviews to the Secretary-General of Cittadinanzattiva: IL, The proposal is now supported within the Parliament where the debate is opened (M).

National level: Civic monitoring on prevention: focus on screening & vaccination centres across Italy: the please find press release and suitable articles: ABCD, etc. (IT). The research has been hosted by the video of  the Italian Federation of Pediatricias (FIMP) and published at the EU Level also by HEALTH EUROPA QUARTERLY (Issue 13 - 2020): "For vaccination? Come back .... I can't tell you when"

EU level: In occasion of the  online celebration of the European Patients Rights Day (18 April 2020), a dedicated newsletter with some messages focused on the value of vaccination in the era of COVID-19. To know more, click here.

Open consultation on cancer plan
Cittadinanzattiva- Active Citizenship Network provided its contribution to the public consultation on the EU beating cancer plan, for which the roadmap include prevention and vaccination, launched by the EU Commission last February.   

World Meningitis Day 2020
Our contribution to support the social media campaign promoted by our Spanish partner “Asociación Española contra la Meningitis

Coalition for vaccination: Citizens organizations officially involved – March 2020
Last 9th March 2020 in the Annual meeting of the Coalition for vaccination in Brussels, the Commission and the Coalition members decided that the non-healthcare professionals’ associations can be associated organisations to the Coalition. Then, Active Citizenship Network has been included as you can find here. Last 19 of May we had a fruitful call with the 3-leading organization (EFN-PGEU-CPME): The Coalition is focused only on awareness initiatives, our idea is to increase cooperation with them on vaccination also outside the Coalition.   
Public event at the EU Parliament – January 2020
In occasion of the official launch for the 2019-2024 term, of the MEPs Interest Group “European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare”, it was realized last 28th of January 2020 the event titled “Joined For Vaccination: addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Increasing Uptake in EU. A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective”. More info here.

EU project supported by public funds
H2020 project: Our involvement in the Advisory Board for a project proposal linked to the topic: “H2020 SC1-BHC-33-2020: Addressing low vaccine uptake


Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network: documents on the topic 


Published articles:

Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network participation as stakeholder or panelist in public events on the topic

Exploring the needs and future developments of immunisation records in the EU - Better vaccine policies through coherent evidence  - European Health Forum of Gastein 2017

EU-Russia Civil Society Forum April 2018

FEAM Forum workshop on Vaccination - 19 November 2018, Brussels

EU Ecosystem For Monitoring Of Post-Licensure Vaccine Benefit And Risk: From ADVANCE To Vac4EU” conference, organized in Brussels, Belgium on 6th March 2019

Annual Forum of IMI project DRIVE”, organized last 17th and 18th of July, Helsinki (Finland) at the National Institute for Health and Welfare. The DRIVE project (Development of Robust and Innovative Vaccine Effectiveness) was established in 2017 under Innovative Medicines Initiative. DRIVE is developing a European platform for studying brand-specific influenza vaccine effectiveness.

Global Summit on Vaccination” organised by The European Commission in cooperation with the World Health Organisation on 12 September 2019, in Brussels.

Vaccine ecosystem health check. Identifying the components and experiencing the complexities”, organized on 3 October 2019 in the framework of the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG).

Vaccines Medical Education Meeting: Changing the European landscape in influenza vaccination” organized on 4-5 November 2019 at the Institut Pasteur in Paris to discuss with other experts and stakeholders on how to tackle the influenza challenge together.

IMI Project Drive Annual Forum 2020: Webinars on September 22- 24, 2020 an opportunity to engage with DRIVE associate partners, research collaborators and external stakeholders. DRIVE consortium is currently formed by 15 members and its research network involves 10 different European countries.

14th Vaccine Congress Online Edition 2020: The focus was on combatting the threat of Covid-19, with leading experts in vaccinology sharing their knowledge on the current developments and challenges we face.

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January 2021: “Prevention and Vaccines in the COVID-19 era: Bold choices for financing immunisation systems”.
The Director of ACN was invited to the event by MSD providing a loud voice for citizens across Europe who overwhelmingly seek to be protected from preventable diseases. The webinar was attended of almost 90 experts, healthcare professionals, EU and Member State level policymakers and patient groups. The report “Sustainable Immunization Financing in Europe”, presented during the event, is available at this link and its accompanying policy brief can be accessed here. You can find the event recording here.

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(last updated January 2021)

To know more write to Daniela Quaggia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The activities carried out by ACN in 2019-2020 aiming at the promotion of vaccination policies in Europe and its advocacy work in the interest of the health and well-being of European citizens are realized thanks to the support of GSK, MSD,Pfizer and Sanofi.

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