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Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2012

This second edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents a set of key indicators of health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 27 European Union member states, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries. The selection of indicators is based largely on the European Community Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a set of indicators that has been developed to guide the reporting of health statistics in the European Union.  It is complemented by additional indicators on health expenditure and quality of care, building on the OECD expertise in these areas. Each indicator is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, a brief descriptive analysis highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.

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Childhood vaccination programmes

All EU member states have established childhood vaccination programmes. All programmes include vaccinations against diseases such as pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus and measles. Reviews of the evidence supporting the efficacy of vaccines against these diseases have concluded that the respective vaccines are safe and highly effective. For example, Peltola et al. (1994) reported that 12 years after the introduction of a comprehensive national vaccination programme in Finland measles had virtually been eradicated. Numerous studies have also shown that childhood vaccines can be highly cost-effective (e.g. Beutels and Gay, 2003; Banz et al., 2003; Lieu et al., 1994).

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