The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) meeting was organised by WHO from 31 March to 1 April 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO and the SAGE chair had agreed that the three days in-person SAGE meeting was to be replaced by a virtual two day meeting. Around 150 participants attended the meeting online.
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.
Sessions included: Global and Regional Reports, Measles, Ebola, Polio, Immunization Agenda 2030 and Global Vaccine Safety Blueprint. Special attention was given to the modelling of SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology and an update on SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The importance of maintaining routine immunisation services during this pandemic was emphasized throughout the meeting.
SAGE is an excellent opportunity for NESI for understanding the rationale supporting WHO's recommendations on vaccines and immunisation. These evidence-based arguments can immediately be incorporated in NESI's education and training activities enriching discussions with the most up-to-date information, especially relevant for vaccinology courses and workshops focusing on new vaccine introduction.