Strengthening National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups in Middle-income Countries of the WHO European Region

Short Description

National Immunisation Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) are multidisciplinary panels of national experts providing independent and evidence-based guidance to Ministries of Health on immunisation policies and vaccine use in the population. The main task of the NITAGs is to gather, review, evaluate and structure evidence on specific vaccination topics in order to develop vaccination recommendations taking into account the local epidemiological and social context.

These NITAGs, primarily those in middle-income countries (MICs), face numerous challenges resulting in inequality of the immunisation system. In 2017, only 36 of 53 NITAGs in the European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) met the six WHO indicators for NITAG functionality.

This project will be carried out in close collaboration with the Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunisation Programme Unit (VPI) of WHO Europe. It will:

  • review current decision-making processes of the 16 NITAGs and propose opportunities for improvement, including targeted technical assistance from WHO and other partners such as Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
  • provide a platform for sharing experiences and best practices between NITAGs
  • discuss and exchange the impact of the experience gained in the projects with all NITAGs of the Region and with global partner organisations


This project aims to strengthen the functioning of NITAGs in 16 MICs of the WHO European Region and enhance their capacity to develop evidence-based recommendations and to pass them on to policy and decision makers.

The project aims to:

  1. develop country specific NITAG profiles (including structure, composition, functioning, and recommendation development processes);
  2. identify strengths and opportunities for improvement through NITAG assessments in the specific countries;
  3. create and provide an exchange platform and organise a meeting with representatives of the selected NITAGs to discuss opportunities for improvement
  4. develop detailed and realisable action plans

Partner Institutions

  • World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe), Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization Programme (VPI), Denmark



01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022


ca. 690,000 EUR

Partner Countries

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • Tadzhikistan
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan

Implementing Institution

Robert Koch Institute


Mosina L., Külper-Schiek W., Jacques-Carroll L., Earnshaw A., Harder T., Martinón-Torres F., Wilder-Smith A., Wichmann O., Datta SS (2021)
Supporting National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups in the WHO European Region in developing national COVID-19 vaccination recommendations through online communication platform
doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.09.034

Last update: September 2022

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