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Within PHIRI, the Population Health Information Research Infrastructure, a Rapid Exchange Forum (REF) on COVID-19 developments is organized every two weeks. In this one hour meeting, the participants belonging to European public health institutes, Ministries of Health, research institutions and universities as well as EU-level stakeholders answer questions and discuss experiences from their own countries related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each meeting is organized around a topic or set of topics of timely relevance to the participating countries, and answers to the questions are shared during the meeting as well as in writing immediately before or after the meetings. This allows a rapid exchange of information across countries to learn from each other’s challenges and best practices, and compare e.g. vaccination-, testing-, and communication strategies, reaction to new variants, mortality indicators, long-term pandemic monitoring and surveillance, and beginning impact evaluations of the pandemic. The answers to questions discussed during the REF meetings are uploaded to the Health Information Portal at the latest by the end of the week in which each meeting takes place.

Rapid Exchange Forum - Overview questions 03.06.2022

Topic Question Date Document(s)
26th Rapid Exchange Forum: Omicron variant

OMICRON - SARS CoV 2 B.1.1.529 variant of concern

  • What is the state of play regarding the recent VOC 'Omicron' in your country?
  • Has your country implemented new/adapted measures specifically to address the threat posed by the spread of the Omicron variant? (Or are such measures planned?)
25th Rapid Exchange Forum: COVID-19 vaccinations for children

Covid-19 vaccinations for children

In the light of the recent EMA decision:

  • Do you currently have a specific vaccination strategy for children below 12 years? Yes/No
  • If yes, please share further information.
  • If yes, to what extent schools, school doctors and nurses will provide Covid-19 vaccinations for children?
24th Rapid Exchange Forum: False certificates

1. Fake certificates

  • What is the state of play on fake certificates in your country?
  • Is there information on the number of false certificates available in your country?
  • Do you have information on whether fake vaccination certificates are purchased for domestic use or cross-border travel?
  • To what extend is border control aware of false certificates in your country?


2. Brief report on updated Nonpharmaceutical Interventions / Measures

23rd Rapid Exchange Forum: Health workforce health

Health of healthcare workers (HCW)

  • What kind of monitoring is your country doing to protect the health of HCW?
  • What factors are you looking at, when it comes to protection of HCW? (e.g. anxiety, depression, burnout, …)
  • Is data on the health of HCW collected routinely in your country?
22nd Rapid Exchange Forum: Tourism and testing

Tourism - Payment policy / testing policy

1. Who is or should be paying COVID-19-tests for tourists in your country?

2. Does your country have a specific testing strategy for tourism in place?

  • If yes, please share further information.
21st Rapid Exchange Forum: Vaccine certificates

Verification of vaccine certificates in your country

Is your country automatically accepting all vaccine certificates you accept for entry into the country for domestic use, too? (e.g. entry to restaurants etc.)

  • If yes, please specify in which sectors vaccine certificates are valid and how the certificates are checked in specific sectors.
  • If no, please indicate if and how entry for vaccinated individuals in specific sectors (e.g. restaurants, museums, ...) in your country is verified.
20th Rapid Exchange Forum: Hospitalizations

Hospitalizations of vaccinated/unvaccinated persons

  • Is there any data available in your country on the proportion of vaccinated/unvaccinated hospitalized?
  • Is there any data available in your country on the proportion of vaccinated/unvaccinated persons who require treatment in ICUs?
  • If yes, please share further information.


19th Rapid Exchange Forum: Vaccine hesitancy

Understanding and addressing vaccine hesitancy

  • Are there studies/surveys in your country aimed at identifying individual reasons for vaccine hesitancy? (please also share links to international studies that you are aware of)
  • Has your country taken specific actions to enhance people’s willingness to get vaccinated? (e.g. innovative/targeted communication approaches; reward-based nudging approaches)
18th Rapid Exchange Forum: School start

School starts in autumn. With regard to delta, recommendations for adolescents to get vaccinated, progress of vaccination, etc.:

1. Are you preparing/discussing specific measures/strategies for the start of schools in autumn (Y/N) ?

2. Which measures are in place / planned for schools in your country / region?

  • Different rules apply for children <12 years and those >12 years: Y/N
  • Split classes / alternate terms: Y/N
  • Mandatory face-masks: Y/N
  • Regular testing of school-kids: Y/N
  • Regular testing of teachers/staff: Y/N
  • Distance teaching/learning: Y/N
17th Rapid Exchange Forum: Delta variant

Delta variant

Has your country implemented new/adapted measures specifically to address the threat posed by the spread of the Delta variant? (Or are such measures planned?)