Networking & Advocacy Activities 2020
Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) meeting April, Geneva, Switzerland
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.
Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) meeting October, Geneva, Switzerland
The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) meeting was organised by WHO from 5 to 7 October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person SAGE meeting was replaced by a virtual meeting.
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 meets twice a year and reports directly to the Director-General of WHO.
Sessions included: Global and Regional Reports; Immunisation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; Rotavirus vaccines; Polio; COVID-19 vaccination; Measles Rubella strategic framework; IA2030 Monitoring, Evaluation and Action Framework; Pneumococcal vaccines (considerations for use in older adults and use in outbreak settings); and Vaccine Innovation Prioritization Strategy. Special attention was given to the Roadmap for prioritizing population groups for COVID-19 vaccination. The Roadmap aims to guide the planning and recommendation-making for COVID-19 vaccination based on the epidemiological setting and vaccine supply scenarios.
NESI is invited to attend the SAGE meeting as observer. SAGE is an excellent opportunity for NESI for understanding the rationale supporting WHO’s recommendations on vaccines and immunisation.
WHO/AFRO Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group meeting, Brazzaville, Congo
The Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (RITAG) meeting was organised by WHO/AFRO in Brazzaville, Congo from 18 to 19 November 2020. The in-person meeting was replaced by a virtual meeting.
During the opening session, highlights from the October 2020 SAGE meeting and the implementation status of July 2020 RITAG recommendations were discussed. The second session focused on COVID-19 vaccination, including an update on COVID-19 epidemiology and a detailed discussion on the Roadmap for prioritising population groups for COVID-19 vaccination and the COVAX facility. The regional COVID-19 vaccine readiness was also presented. The third session focused on Immunisation in the context of COVID-19. The fourth session concentrated on Polio eradication.
The RITAG meeting is an excellent opportunity for NESI to receive the latest updates from the WHO African Region and to identify potential new activities and collaborations.
La tuberculose de l'enfant en 2020, Morocco
On 19 November 2020, the Ministry of Health Morocco, SOMIPEV and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, organised an online meeting on “La tuberculose de l’enfant en 2020”.
The meeting discussed in detail latent tuberculosis infection and BCG vaccination. NESI was invited to present an overview of tuberculosis vaccines currently in development, with a special focus on the candidate vaccine M72/AS01E.
The webinar was attended by more than 200 participants and generated a lively discussion between speakers and participants.
Vaccine Safety Net virtual meeting
The Vaccine Safety Net organised a virtual meeting on 8 and 10 December 2020. The meeting focused on identifying how VSN members could play a critical role in the dissemination of COVID-19 vaccine safety information and on the operationalization of the communication module of the COVID-19 Vaccines.
Specifically, the meeting addressed the following issues:
- Coordination of active communication on COVID-19 vaccine safety
- Identification of additional elements that should be further developed to improve messaging and content
- Learning from the approaches and communication strategies already used by VSN members to address COVID-19 vaccines safety related questions
- Defining concrete actions for VSN members and the VSN Secretariat based on proposed scenarios
NESI was invited to participate in the virtual meeting as VSN member.