"It may be argued that many of the deaths and some of the costs associated with influenza epidemics could be avoided through a wider uptake of influenza vaccinations. Among the EU Member States, there is a range of different policies with respect to making influenza vaccines available to the general public. Often these vaccines are targeted at older age groups or other at-risk groups," said Eurostat of figures which relate to 2021.
The take-up of vaccinations against influenza among people aged 65 years and overshows considerable differences between EU Member States. At least three quarters of people aged 65 years and over in Ireland and Denmark were vaccinated against influenza in 2021, as were 72.6 % in the Netherlands. By contrast, no more than 10.0 % of the elderly population were vaccinated against influenza in Latvia, Bulgaria and Poland. In fact, Latvia's rate was the lowest of all EU member states at 7.7%.
In 21 of the EU Member States for which data are presented, the share of the elderly vaccinated against influenza was higher in 2021 than it had been in 2011. That includes Latvia, which saw coverage rise from 3.07% in 2011. However, both Estonia's and Lithuania's coverage rates increased by a much greater margin.