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The current issue of Eurosurveillance provides the common theme of the epidemiology and control of congenital rubella infection (CRI) across Europe. It provides a stark reminder that despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine for many years, CRI - the consequence of rubella infection during pregnancy, remains an important public health problem both in the European Union and the wider WHO European Region. The following articles outline the various operational challenges facing national immunisation programmes in Europe. They vividly illustrate large differences in disease burden and inequalities in access to preventive health services both between and within countries. Four groups of countries can be distinguished.


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