Technical Support Activities 2021
NITAG partners meetings
Since 2019, NESI participates in the NITAG partners’ meetings, which are coordinated by WHO/HQ and the Global NITAG Network (GNN). The NITAG partners meetings are important to exchange, align and coordinate activities among the different partners involved in supporting NITAGs.
On 24 November 2021 a virtual meeting was organised with the different NITAG partners to discuss the progress of respective projects supporting NITAGs. During the meeting the following topics were discussed: (1) Overview of current global projects, including the maturity model, Sysvac, training activities and NITAG survey; (2) NITAG work plan for 2022; and (3) Regional activities.
NESI was also invited to attend the GNN webinar on 15 December 2021. This virtual meeting was important to exchange, align and coordinate activities with the main stakeholders involved in supporting NITAGs at various levels. The objectives of the webinar included: (1) Share latest evidence on heterologous COVID-19 vaccine schedules, COVID-19 booster vaccination and children vaccination; (2) Exchange different countries’ experiences; and (3) Present learnings from the Sysvac registry.
Training in immunisation at South African Vaccinology and Immunisation Centre/Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
The South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre/Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SAVIC/SMU) developed the online “Higher Certificate in Vaccinology” (HCert Vaccinology) programme, which is a basic introductory programme for in-service healthcare workers (HCWs) who work in the South African EPI programme and private sector clinics offering vaccination services. The training programme is divided into 2 blocks consisting of 11 modules over 30 weeks. Accreditation for the Higher Certificate in Vaccinology was received in 2018.
NESI was invited by SAVIC/SMU to be external moderator for three modules in the HCert Vaccinology programme: (1) Introduction to immune response against infectious diseases; (2) Introduction to vaccinology; and (3) Introduction to vaccine manufacture and distribution.
Joint publication. Milondzo T, Meyer JC, Dochez C, Burnett RJ. 2021. Misinformation drives low human papillomavirus vaccination coverage in South African girls attending private schools. Frontiers in Public Health 9: 598625.
Global Collaboration on Vaccinology Training
The Global Collaboration on Vaccinology Training was established in November 2018 during the first Global Vaccinology Training Workshop, organised by the Mérieux Foundation and the University of Geneva. NESI is an active member of the Global Collaboration on Vaccinology Training. The collaboration aims to identify gaps and future needs as well as to strengthen the collaboration between the different vaccinology courses.
To address these aims, four working groups have been established: (1) e-portal; (2) industry engagement; (3) evaluation and; (4) needs assessment. NESI is member of the working group on “needs assessment”. An e-portal has been developed, providing an overview of existing vaccinology courses to assist interested persons to choose the vaccinology course best suited to their needs.
Teleconferences are being organised every six months to discuss any updates of the working groups and the collaboration.
The second Global Vaccinology Training Workshop is scheduled to take place during the first quarter of 2022. NESI is member of the organising committee of the workshop and is being involved in updating the landscape analysis of global vaccinology courses.