The Caribbean Immunization Technical Advisory Group (CiTAG), the first NITAG of its kind

27 March 2018

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).

private-port-of-spain-city-tour-in-port-of-spain-374273.jpg

The Caribbean Immunization Technical Advisory Group (CiTAG) was launched during the 33rd Caribbean Immunization Managers’ meeting, February 26-28, 2018. The CiTAG, an independent group of experts in the fields of Epidemiology, Public Health, Microbiology, Paediatrics and Tropical Medicine, is chaired by Dr. J. Peter Figueroa Professor of Public Health, Epidemiology and HIV/AIDS at The University of the West Indies and will advise Ministers of Health on immunization through the Council for Human and Social Development of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). A representative from the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office also participated as an observer.

Recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and outbreaks of vaccine preventable illnesses in neighboring countries are a stark reminder that EPI programs must be resilient and vigilant for maintaining the polio, measles, CRS and Rubella free status of the Caribbean. Priority areas for the CiTAG include sustaining confidence in immunization; promoting the strengthening/development of legislative frameworks to support vaccination; enhancing data quality through implementation of nominal electronic registers; surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases; strengthening laboratory capacities and linkages between EPI, surveillance, laboratory and the private sector and building capacity of EPI managers though training.

Related News & Events

  • Chile
    Functioning

    Chile's NITAG documents the results of the committee's evaluation

    02.07.2019

    In this article, we describe the structure, functioning and work processes of Chile’s NITAG (CAVEI) and assess its functionality, quality of work processes and outputs, and integration of the committee into the Ministry of Health policy process using the Assessment tool for National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups.

    Read more
  • NITAG training

    Read more on NITAG training in resource-constrained settings

    20.06.2019

    Antoinette Ba-Nguy and Adeel Shaah, ex-SIVAC staff and experienced NITAG trainers,  wrote an article on the NITAG trainings delivered through the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) program.

    Read more
  • SAGE

    new Interim Recommendations on Vaccination against Ebola Virus Disease from SAGE

    13.05.2019

    Over the last four weeks, the Ebola outbreak in the Eastern Provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has deteriorated with a large increase in the number of cases1. A major factor in this rise is an increase in critical security incidents that have dramatically affected the ability to identify, follow up and vaccinate contacts successfully. This context challenges the implementation of ring vaccination based on the identification of contacts and contacts of contacts, as recommended by SAGE in April 2017 and confirmed by SAGE during its April 2019 meeting. Further, a potential vaccine shortage may manifest in case the outbreak expands further and/or is prolonged.

    Read more