With 22 small countries/territories, the Caribbean faced a great challenge in stablishing NITAGs. Given the history of Caribbean countries working successfully together in health, the Health Ministers took the wise decision in 2017 to establish a sub-regional NITAG. This is an efficient mechanism to provide independent advice on immunization to the Ministers of Health in keeping with the recommendations of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and PAHO’S Regional Immunization Action Plan (RIAP).
This position paper replaces the 2004 WHO position paper on Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine and the 2007 WHO revised BCG vaccination guidelines for infants at risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It incorporates recent developments in the field of tuberculosis, provides revised guidance on the immunization of children infected with HIV, and re-emphasizes the importance of the BCG birth dose.
A unique training for NITAG was organized in Beijing on December 12-14 2017. For the first time, the training gathered together NITAG chair and members but also the working group leaders, ex-officio members and liaison members as well as NITAG from other countries as facilitators.
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).