Workshop Fosters Greater Understanding between NRAs and NITAGs

Participants at the NRA-NITAG workshop

November 24, 2011

The World Health Organization East Mediterranean Regional Office and AMP’s SIVAC Initiative hosted a workshop to improve the way National Regulatory Authorities (NRA) and National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) coordinate and use information in their respective decision-making processes.

Representatives from NRAs and NITAGs in 12 East Mediterranean countries attended the two-day event in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, late October.

The workshop sought to help NRAs and NITAGs better understand their respective responsibilities, terms of reference, standard operating procedures and methodology used for issuing respective market authorizations and recommendations for use of vaccines in immunization programs.

During the workshop, some countries claimed that, in the past, lack of clarity about these issues had caused certain communities to be hesitant about vaccine use.

Workshop outcomes included an action plan to maximize convergence between the use of a vaccine and the evidence of its safety and effectiveness as the basis for marketing authorization.

The countries attending were: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Syria.