Networking & Advocacy: Activities 2015

VaxInEU Symposium

Barcelona, Spain 30 September, 2015 to 2 October, 2015

A new Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Degree entitled "Leading International Vaccinology Education" (LIVE) was granted by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and is scheduled to start in September 2016.

LIVE is a two years Master's programme between five European universities: Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France (coordinating university); Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; Universitat de Barcelona, Spain; University of Antwerp, Belgium; Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne, France. In addition, the programme is supported by a worldwide network of 31 international associated partners and 16 supporting partners. NESI is supporting partner to the LIVE programme.

The general objective of this new LIVE programme is to train the next generation vaccinologists who will have to manage an increasing number of infectious and non-infectious vaccine targets. The LIVE programme will focus on three main pillars:

  1. in-depth exposure of trainees to the multi-disciplinary aspects of vaccinology, 
  2. academic preparation in basic and clinical sciences, 
  3. vaccinology training undertaken in both public sector and industry settings.

The two-year programme is divided in four semesters. The students will be attending each semester at different universities: during the first semester the courses will focus on immunology and immunopathology and will be taking place in Spain; during the second semester students will specialise in infectiology in Belgium; research and clinical vacicnology will be the focus during the third semester in France. After completion of the course work, the LIVE students will be conducting their Master thesis during the fourth semester at partner universities/organisations/companies around the world.

The LIVE programme was launched during the "VaxInEu Symposium on Vaccinology and Infectiology" that was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 30 September to 2 October 2015. This international symposium fosters exchanges between all vaccinology actors, including students, and is an excellent networking opportunity. The annual VaxInEu symposium will be alternatingly organised in the different countries of the LIVE programme. NESI attended the symposium as a supporting partner of the LIVE programme.

More information on the LIVE Master's programme and application procedures can be found here

30th International Papillomavirus Conference

Lisbon, Portugal 17 September, 2015 to 21 September, 2015

The 30th International Papillomavirus Conference was organised in Lisbon, Portugal, from 17 to 21 September 2015, by the International Papillomavirus Society and the Portuguese Papillomavirus Society.

The conference brought together more than 2000 researchers, clinicians, policy-makers and other healthcare professionals aiming at exchanging the latest advances in science and practice.

Some of the conference highlights included: epidemiology of HPV; molecular biology; immunology and pathogenesis of HPV; HPV vaccines; prevention of cervical cancer and other papillomavirus associated diseases. The conference format consisted of state-of-the-art sessions, keynote lectures, roundtable discussions, workshops and sessions including oral and poster presentations.

SAVIC/SMU, SA-MRC and NESI/University of Antwerp presented two posters in the session on Public Health/Epidemiology – Vaccination. Participating in this conference was also an opportunity to meet experts in the different fields of HPV research and to develop new collaborations.


Task Force on Immunisation (TFI)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 30 June, 2015 to 1 July, 2015

The Task Force on Immunisation (TFI) was organised by WHO/AFRO in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, from 30 June to 1 July 2015.

The Task Force on Immunisation serves as the principal advisory group to WHO/AFRO for development of policies related to vaccines and immunisation. The mandate of TFI is to provide strategic advice, and is not restricted to childhood vaccines and immunisation but covers the control of all vaccine-preventable diseases in the context of health systems strengthening.

The objectives of the TFI meeting included:

  •  Review the recommendations from SAGE April 2015 and their implications for the African Region;
  •  Analyse progress made in Polio Eradication Initiative in the African Region;
  •  Discuss revitalisation of immunisation systems in the Ebola affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone);
  •  Assess status of GVAP implementation in the African Region;
  •  Review progress in measles/rubella control.

The Task Force on Immunisation was attended by the TFI members, SAGE and ARCC members, chairs of Technical Advisory Groups, and representatives of the following organisations: WHO, UNICEF, USAID, CDC, Gavi, AMP, NESI, JSI, Rotary Foundation. It was a great honour for NESI to be invited by WHO/AFRO to this high-level meeting.



Global Immunisation Meeting: Protect, Innovate, Accelerate

Sitges, Spain 23 June, 2015 to 25 June, 2015

The Global Immunisation Meeting: Protect, Innovate, Accelerate was organised by WHO and UNICEF in Sitges, Spain, from 23 to 25 June 2015. Meeting participants included Ministry of Health representatives of 26 countries, representatives of WHO, UNICEF, academia, partner agencies, civil society organisations and industry.

The format of the meeting comprised of plenary and parallel interactive workshop sessions.

The agenda addressed topics in the three priority areas: protect, innovate and accelerate.

  • Protect: reach the unreached | increase and sustain coverage | strengthen immunisation systems
  • Innovate: introduce new vaccines and technologies | promote integrated approaches to disease control
  • Accelerate: eliminate measles and rubella | control meningitis A | monitor maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination

During this meeting key issues related to strengthening routine immunisation, introduction of new vaccines, needs in capacity building, accelerated disease control among other topics were discussed with all partners at the global, regional and country level. The meeting reported that achievements have been made in introducing new vaccines and establishing and strengthening NITAGs. However, five of the six GVAP targets for 2015 are not on track: DTP3 coverage targets; poliovirus transmission interruption; maternal and neonatal tetanus global elimination by 2015; measles elimination from three more WHO regions by end-2015; and rubella elimination from one more WHO region by end-2015. Only the GVAP target of new and under-utilised vaccine introduction is on track.

All countries and organisations committed to GVAP were encouraged to evaluate their contributions and make improvements to achieve results. New tools and strategies, renewed global commitment and strong country ownership will be critical to get back on track. It is now key to attaining and sustaining polio eradication; measles and rubella elimination; and maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination.

Attending this meeting was a good opportunity for NESI to meet key partners and to receive updates on the newest developments on vaccines and immunisation.



Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) meetings

Geneva, Switzerland 14 April, 2015 to 16 April, 2015

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) meetings were organised by WHO from 14 to 16 April 2015, and from 20 to 22 October 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland. SAGE advises WHO on overall global policies and strategies, ranging from vaccine research and development, to delivery of immunisation services and linking immunisation with other health interventions. SAGE usually meets twice a year and reports directly to the Director-General of WHO.

The first session of the respective SAGE meetings covered the reports from WHO/IVB and Gavi, followed by reports from other advisory committees. Major topics discussed during this years' SAGE meetings were Ebola vaccines and Malaria vaccine. It was for the first time during the SAGE meeting in October 2015, that reports from international immunisation partners were presented. Other topics addressed by SAGE during 2015 are summarised in the table.

SAGE is an excellent opportunity for NESI to network but also for understanding the rationale supporting WHO's recommendations on vaccines and immunisation. These evidence-based arguments can immediately be included in NESI's education and training activities enriching discussions with the most up-to-date information, especially relevant for vaccinology courses and immunisation management courses.

WHO/AFRO Immunisation Partners Meeting

Brazzaville, Congo 2 March, 2015 to 3 March, 2015

The Immunisation Partners Meetings was organised by WHO/AFRO from 2 to 3 March 2015, in Brazzaville, Congo.

The meeting was attended by 80 participants, including WHO and UNICEF staff, representatives from TFI, TAG, ARCI and ARICC, and other immunisation partners: BMGF, CDC, Gavi, JSI, MSF, NESI, Rotary International and USAID.

The meeting discussed the African Regional Strategic Plan for Immunisation 2014-2020 and updates on routine immunisation and new vaccines introduction; accelerated immunisation initiatives, and polio eradication.
During the second day specific country coordination activities were discussed, including implications of the ebola outbreak on immunisation programmes; and security constraints in Nigeria. The 2015 Plan of Action from IVE was presented and discussed in detailed.

The meeting ended by statements presented by the different partners. NESI made a commitment to the joint AFRO/NESI 2015 activities on EPI pre-service training, MLM and vaccinology courses.
Attending the Immunisation Partners Meeting was an excellent opportunity for NESI to discuss and plan joint activities with partners.

Last updated: 29 March, 2018