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newsNew measures to prevent cancer through vaccination


We all know someone touched by cancer. Around 2.7 million people in the European Union are diagnosed with cancer every year, and this number is predicted to grow in the future. About 40% of cancer cases in the EU are preventable. Safe and effective vaccines exist and could save a lot of lives.

The Commission has therefore put forward new recommendations to support Member States in their efforts to prevent cancer through vaccination, as part of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. It recommends significantly increasing the uptake of two key vaccinations that can prevent two viral infections which can lead to cancer:

  • Human papillomaviruses (HPV)
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)

Coverage of these vaccinations should also be monitored more closely.

The new measures include:

  • ensuring that vaccination is easily accessible and free
  • integrating HPV and HBV vaccination programmes into national cancer prevention plans
  • setting concrete targets
  • strengthening communication and outreach
  • improving monitoring and reporting of vaccination coverage by implementing electronic vaccination registries
  • exchanging best practices.

HPV vaccination coverage is well below 50% in many Member States. There is also a significant lack of data on HBV vaccination rates. Europe's Beating Cancer Plan’s target is to vaccinate 90% of girls and a significant number of boys against HPV by 2030. The Commission has dedicated the largest budget ever to beating cancer, including €4 billion from the EU4Health programme and other instruments.

For more information

A cancer plan for Europe

Factsheet on preventing cancer through vaccination

Factsheet – how Europe's Beating Cancer Plan is making a difference

Video – we all know someone touched by cancer

Press release: Commission recommends new measures on vaccine-preventable cancers under Europe's Beating Cancer Plan

Questions and Answers on vaccine-preventable cancers

Data on cancer prevalence

Human papilloma virus (HPV)

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