The Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI), based at The Task Force for Global Health (TFGH), is an innovative public/private program that partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ministries of Health, corporate partners and others to create sustainable, routine, seasonal influenza vaccination programs in low- and middle-income countries. PIVI’s goal is to create routine, seasonal influenza vaccination programs to protect communities from the impacts of both seasonal and pandemic influenza. Working with countries’ Ministries of Health, as well as with other technical collaborators, PIVI supports capacity building for NITAGs to make evidence-based vaccine policy decision making. These activities are coordinated with NITAG strengthening work carried out through other projects and cooperative funding agreements between countries and CDC’s Influenza and Global Immunization Divisions. The work is also closely coordinated with NITAG focal points in WHO regional and country offices.
Last year, the recommendations made by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) in the mid-term review of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) informed the development of a new World Health Assembly Resolution (WHA70.14), approved in May 2017. WHO Member States renewed their commitment to strengthen governance and leadership of national immunization programmes to accelerate progress to achieve the GVAP goals. Highlights on NITAGs from the 2017 SAGE assessment report of the Global Vaccine Action Plan.
The Health Council of the Netherlands recommends rotavirus vaccination for children despite not being cost-effective10.31.2017
Rotavirus infections cause thousands of hospitalisations a year amongst young children. Vaccination can prevent a large part of these, as well as almost completely banishing mortality from rotavirus. These benefits outweigh the small risk of a serious complication from vaccination, according to the Health Council.
October 2017 marks the introduction of the rotavirus and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in Costa Rica’s immunization program. This decision results from the recommendations of the country National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG). Since 2001, Costa Rica’s NITAG, which is called Comisión Nacional de Vacunación y Epidemiología (National Commission on Vaccination and Epidemiology), is in charge of establishing and periodically updating the national immunization schedule as well as formulating overall policies and strategies for immunization. In order to issue the recommendations, the NITAG conducted cost-effectiveness studies that were then approved by its members.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook provides clinical advice for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice. These recommendations are developed by Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
The WHO Regional Office for Africa is soliciting proposals for nominations for current vacancies on its Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (RITAG). Nominations are required to be submitted no later than 04 September 2017. Nominations will be carefully reviewed by the RITAG membership selection panel which will propose the selection of nominees for appointment to the WHO Regional Director for Africa.
In June 2016 the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced that the mandate of Canada’s NITAG, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) will be expanded. In addition to the assessment of vaccine characteristics (safety, efficacy, effectiveness, and immunogenicity), NACI will also be assessing additional programmatic elements including economic evaluations, feasibility of implementation, acceptability, ethics and equity.
The second Global National Immunization Technical Advisory Group Network (GNN) meeting was held in Berlin from 28-29 June. The meeting was jointly organized by WHO, the Robert Koch Institute, US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and Agence de Médecine Preventive−Health Policy and Institutional Development Center (AMP-HPID).