The Role of National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) in the Introduction of Inactivated Polio Vaccine: Experience of the Indonesia and Uganda NITAGs

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2017
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National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) are established by national authorities to provide them with independent, bias-free, objective, and evidence-based advice on vaccines and immunization challenges. As of December 2015, 125 countries have reported having set up an NITAG. The Health Policy and Institutional Development Center at the Agence de Médecine Préventive, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborative Center for evidence-informed immunization, through its Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees (SIVAC) Initiative project, provides assistance to low- and middle-income countries in the establishment and strengthening of their NITAGs. The Indonesian NITAG (ITAGI) was formed in December 2006 and Uganda’s (UNITAG) was formed in November 2014. Both Uganda and Indonesia have introduced inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) as part of the Global Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan (the Endgame plan). The authors reflect on the process and the role played by NITAGs in the introduction of IPV in the routine immunization program and the lessons learned.