Monitoring of progress in the establishment and strengthening of national immunization technical advisory groups

Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.62). 04/2012; 30(50). DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.04.015
Source: PubMed


The majority of industrialized and some developing countries have established technical advisory bodies to guide and formulate national immunization policies and strategies. These are referred to as National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs), WHO and its partners have placed a high priority on assisting in the establishment or strengthening of functional, sustainable, and independent NITAGs. To enable systematic global monitoring of the existence and functionality of NITAGs, in 2010, WHO and UNICEF included related questions in the WHO-UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF) that provides an official means for WHO and UNICEF to collect indicators of immunization programme performance. This paper presents the status of NITAGs based on the analysis of the 2010 JRF. Although 115 countries (64% of responders) reported having a NITAG in 2010, only 50% of countries reported the existence of a NITAG with a formal administrative or legislative basis. Despite limitations in the ability to compare 2010 JRF data with that from a 2008 global survey, it appears that substantial progress has been achieved globally over with 43 committees reporting affirmatively about six NITAG process indicators, compared with 23 in the 2008 survey. Impressive progress has been observed in the proportion of countries reporting NITAGs with formal terms of reference (24% increase), a legislative or administrative basis (10% increase), and a requirement for members to disclose their interests (14% increase). Some of the poorest developing countries now enjoy support from a NITAG which meet all six process indicators. These may serve as examples for other countries.

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Available from: Barbara Jauregui, Sep 18, 2014
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    • "In 2009, the WHO, AMP/SIVAC and the CDC developed 6 process indicators that were included in the WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF) [4] [5]. As a monitoring system adopted by the WHO and UNICEF in 1998, the JRF collects self reported national-level data on selected vaccine-preventable diseases cases, immunization coverage , recommended immunization schedules, vaccine supply and other information on the structure, and policies and performance of national immunization systems. "
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    ABSTRACT: A National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) is an expert advisory committee that provides evidence-based recommendations to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to guide immunization programs and policies. The World Health Organization (WHO), the Initiative for Supporting National Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees (SIVAC) at Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) engaged NITAG stakeholders and technical partners in the development of indicators to assess the effectiveness of NITAGs. A list of 17 process, output and outcome indicators was developed and tested in 14 countries to determine whether they were understandable, feasible to collect, and useful for the countries. Based on the findings, a revised version of the indicators is proposed for self-assessment in the countries, as well as for global monitoring of the NITAGs.
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of industrialized and some developing countries have established National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs). To enable systematic global monitoring of the existence and functionality of NITAGs, in 2011, WHO and UNICEF included related questions in the WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF) that provides an official means to globally collect indicators of immunization program performance. These questions relate to six basic process indicators. According to the analysis of the 2013 JRF, data for 2012, notable progress was achieved between 2010 and 2012 and by the end of 2012, 99 countries (52%) reported the existence of a NITAG with a formal legislative or administrative basis (with a high of 86% in the Eastern Mediterranean Region - EMR), among the countries that reported data in the NITAG section of the JRF. There were 63 (33%) countries with a NITAG that met six process indicators (47% increase over the 43 reported in 2010) including a total of 38 developing countries. 11% of low income countries reported a NITAG that meets all six process criteria, versus 29% of middle income countries and 57% of the high income ones. Countries with smaller populations reported the existence of a NITAG that meets all six process criteria less frequently than more populated countries (23% for less populated countries versus 43% for more populated ones). However, progress needs to be accelerated to reach the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) target of ensuring all countries have support from a NITAG. The GVAP represents a major opportunity to boost the institutionalization of NITAGs. A special approach needs to be explored to allow small countries to benefit from sub-regional or other countries advisory groups.
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