25th meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and Vaccine Preventable Diseases in the Western Pacific Region
On 26-29 July 2016 the Western Pacific Region held the 25th Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases.
Participants discussed progress towards achieving the targets and indicators for the polio endgame; elimination of measles, rubella, and maternal and neonatal tetanus; and accelerated control of hepatitis B and Japanese encephalitis (JE). Discussions also covered evidence- based introduction of new vaccines and the decision making processes, as well as vaccine safety and regulatory capacity.
A side session was held with representatives from national immunization technical advisory groups (NITAGs) to discuss successes and challenges in evidence-based immunization decision making.
TAG's key recommendations included setting a regional rubella elimination target date of 2020; as well as finalizing the Regional Strategies and Plan of Action on measles and rubella. Member States were recommended to prioritize available stocks of IPV for high risk areas and to explore the programmatic feasibility of using a fractional dose via intra-dermal administration. The TAG recommended the use of a JE incidence target of < 0.5 cases per 100,000 population in the targeted population (typically children aged <15 years) in affected areas. The TAG re-emphasized the importance of strengthening immunization decision making through strong NITAGs or equivalents. Particular attention was given to the need to support the Pacific Island Countries as well as developing regional NITAG networks. The TAG reiterated the importance of establishing a second year of life platform for immunization as an opportunity to reach all children. Member States were encouraged to work with WHO and partners to ensure vaccine security and avoid stock outs through regular vaccine forecasting, timely procurement and adequate resource allocation, making use of the Middle Income Country strategies and the Vaccine Product, Price and Procurement (VP3) platform to overcome potential risks to vaccine security. Member States and the Region were encouraged to take a cautious approach when considering the use of dengue vaccine, closely following advice in the current position paper and any additional recommendations from SAGE.
The meeting report with complete conclusions and recommendations will be available shortly online.