Systematic reviews

Systematic reviews are a useful source of evidence for the development of national public health recommendations, as they synthesize findings from numerous studies and provide reliable estimates about intervention effects. Nevertheless, conducting systematic reviews requires significant resources, which may not always be available. The SYSVAC registry is intended to help NITAGs and SAGE locate existing systematic reviews that may serve their needs.

Watch the short animated video now to learn more about the SYSVAC project

The SYSVAC registry includes a variety of systematic reviews, including living, rapid and umbrella reviews, allowing users to search for reviews using free text and keywords (e.g., disease/pathogen, population). Reviews in the registry have been assessed for quality, using the AMSTAR 2 (A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews 2) appraisal tool.

To include the most relevant systematic reviews in the field, registry staff regularly conduct searches of multiple databases, including Medline, Embase, and The Cochrane Library. For the registry’s December 2020 launch, priority was given to systematic reviews related to COVID-19. Systematic reviews covering more diseases/pathogens have been added since 2021.

E-learning course

The e-learning course describes how to use existing systematic reviews to develop vaccination recommendations. Course participants follow Mary, a fictional head of her country’s NITAG, as she goes through the different steps of using existing reviews, including locating the reviews; assessing their relevance to her research question, methodological quality, and up-to-dateness; and evaluating their transferability and applicability.