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).
In a revised yellow fever (YF) vaccine position paper published in today’s edition of the Weekly Epidemiological Record, WHO provided updated guidance on the use of fractional dose YF vaccination in the context of YF vaccine supply shortages.
National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) provide independent, evidence-informed advice to assist their governments in immunization policy formation. However, many NITAGs face challenges in fulfilling their roles. Hence the many requests for formation of a network linking NITAGs together so they can learn from each other.
The NITAG session at the April SAGE meeting 2017 includes presentations of three committees: JCVI (UK NITAG), Sri Lanka and Senegal. The NITAG of Cote d'Ivoire is taking this opportunity to present its success and challenges.