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.

Download full-text


Available from: Barbara Jauregui, Sep 18, 2014
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Vaccine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite many successes in the region, Latin American vaccination policies have significant shortcomings, and further work is needed to maintain progress and prepare for the introduction of newly available vaccines. In order to address the challenges facing Latin America, the Commission for the Future of Vaccines in Latin America (COFVAL) has made recommendations for strengthening evidence-based policy-making and reducing regional inequalities in immunisation. We have conducted a comprehensive literature review to assess the feasibility of these recommendations. Standardisation of performance indicators for disease burden, vaccine coverage, epidemiological surveillance and national health resourcing can ensure comparability of the data used to assess vaccination programmes, allowing deeper analysis of how best to provide services. Regional vaccination reference schemes, as used in Europe, can be used to develop best practice models for vaccine introduction and scheduling. Successful models exist for the continuous training of vaccination providers and decision-makers, with a new Latin American diploma aiming to contribute to the successful implementation of vaccination programmes. Permanent, independent vaccine advisory committees, based on the USA's Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (ACIP), could facilitate the uptake of new vaccines and support evidence-based decision-making in the administration of National Immunisation Programmes. Innovative financing mechanisms for the purchase of new vaccines, such as advance market commitments and cost front-loading, have shown potential for improving vaccine coverage. A common regulatory framework for vaccine approval is needed to accelerate delivery and pool human, technological and scientific resources in the region. Finally, public-private partnerships between industry, government, academia and non-profit sectors could provide new investment to stimulate vaccine development in the region, reducing prices in the long term. These reforms are now crucial, particularly as vaccines for previously neglected, developing-world diseases become available. In summary, a regionally-coordinated health policy will reduce vaccination inequality in Latin America.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Vaccine
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vaccination provides many health and economic benefits to individuals and society, and public support for immunization programs is generally high. However, the benefits of vaccines are often not fully valued when public discussions on vaccine safety, quality or efficacy arise, and the spread of misinformation via the internet and other media has the potential to undermine immunization programs. Factors associated with improved public confidence in vaccines include evidence-based decision-making procedures and recommendations, controlled processes for licensing and monitoring vaccine safety and effectiveness and disease surveillance. Community engagement with appropriate communication approaches for each audience is a key factor in building trust in vaccines. Vaccine safety/quality issues should be handled rapidly and transparently by informing and involving those most affected and those concerned with public health in effective ways. Openness and transparency in the exchange of information between industry and other stakeholders is also important. To maximize the safety of vaccines, and thus sustain trust in vaccines, partnerships are needed between public health sector stakeholders. Vaccine confidence can be improved through collaborations that ensure high vaccine uptake rates and that inform the public and other stakeholders of the benefits of vaccines and how vaccine safety is constantly assessed, assured and communicated.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Vaccines
Show more