12 December 2023

Brazil, December 12, 2023 (PAHO). With the participation of 150 professionals and immunization specialists from 40 countries, the second meeting of the Regional Network of National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAG) was held from December 5 to 6 in Rio de Janeiro. 

The Regional NITAG Network of the Americas (RNA), supported by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), is the main means of communication between networks and immunization advisory bodies. The RNA facilitates access to scientific information on vaccination and promotes collaboration between countries on immunization. It is made up of NITAGs, which are independent technical groups with advisory functions to national health authorities on immunization policies.

The second meeting of the RNA had the objective of providing updates on the progress of work plans, reviewing scientific evidence for the formulation of recommendations on immunization, sharing the results of the self-assessments of each NITAG and discussing future collaborations among NITAGs, among other topics.

The event was inaugurated by the Director of the Department of Immunization and Immuno-preventable diseases, Edder Gatti Fernandes; the member of the Board of Directors of the RNA, Renato Kfouri; the Immunization Advisor of PAHO Brazil, Lely Guzman and the Executive Manager of the Special Comprehensive Immunization Program of the PAHO Regional Office, Daniel Salas.

“In October of last year, we celebrated the launch and first meeting of the RNA in the city of Antigua in Guatemala. The meeting took place at a critical moment in which our Region was facing the most significant decrease in vaccination coverage in recent years, along with an increase in doubts about vaccination,” said Daniel Salas, Executive Manager of the Special Program of Comprehensive Immunization of the PAHO Regional Office in his opening remarks.

“NITAGs exist to provide evidence-based technical advice on vaccines and immunization to their Ministries of Health. Today, strong political leadership and robust evidence-based policymaking processes are more important than ever for the regional and national immunization agenda. We face many parallel challenges, and NITAG are exceptional allies and advocates for strengthening routine immunization to address the many challenges we face,” Salas added.

At the event, the RNA's new website was also officially presented, which seeks to be a digital space where its members can find relevant information on collaboration and learning, as well as a platform to share documents and participate in interest groups.

The meeting concluded with work plans for 2024 and proposals for team collaboration.



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