National immunization technical advisory groups (NITAGs)

NITAGs provide scientific recommendations to their respective ministries of health to enable them to make evidence-based immunization-related policy and programme decisions.

WHO/ Europe works to increase Member States’ capacities for informed and rational decision-making in immunization by:

  • advocating for establishment or strengthening of these national advisory bodies;
  • building capacity of national experts; and
  • introducing best practices identified in the countries that have long-established NITAGs.

The Regional Office also facilitates collaboration between members of these national advisory committees and the European Regional Technical Group of Experts (ETAGE) through joint meetings and dissemination of ETAGE meeting reports and recommendations.

Capacity building in evidence-based decision-making

As part of efforts to support NITAGs in low- and middle-income countries, WHO/Europe, in collaboration with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has developed training materials and regularly conducts training workshops on “Development of evidence-based recommendations in immunization policy and practice”.

Training focuses on evidence-based decision-making related to the introduction of new vaccines. This is a priority topic for countries that need to make decisions on introduction of vaccines for rotavirus, pneumococcal and human papillomavirus (HPV), introduction of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) (in the context of Polio Eradication Endgame Strategic Plan) and expansion of seasonal influenza vaccination programmes.