IVAC Support for SAGE October 2020 Meeting

WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunizations met October 5-7, 2020 to discuss topics including the use of pneumococcal vaccines in older adults, expanded recommendations on rotavirus vaccines, the impact of the pandemic on immunization, and the Immunization Agenda 2030. IVAC regularly participates in semiannual SAGE meetings, providing research summaries and other assistance to the advisory group that guides WHO on immunization. Below are examples of contributions to the latest meeting, results of which will be posted to WHO’s website later in October.

Civil Society Steering Committee. Dr. Chizoba Wonodi, the Gavi Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Steering Committee representative to SAGE, participated as a panelist, putting forth the perspectives of CSOs and communities in the deliberations. Dr. Wonodi called for global solidarity to support a few strategic hubs in LMICs to develop vaccine production capacities through technology transfer and co-investment as a long-term solution to increasing vaccine security. 

Pneumococcal Vaccine Use in Older Adults. SAGE was asked to evaluate the evidence on and provide recommendations about whether countries should provide pneumococcal vaccines to older adults. Pneumococcal vaccines prevent a substantial proportion of bacterial pneumonia and meningitis. Members also reviewed evidence to support the use of pneumococcal vaccines to prevent or mitigate outbreaks of pneumococcal disease. 

IVAC presented results from the Pneumococcal Serotype Replacement and Distribution Estimation (PSERENADE) project, co-led by Dr. Kyla Hayford and IVAC Director of Epidemiology Dr. Maria Knoll, and highlighted a summary of evidence from 29 surveillance sites in 22 countries showing that the routine use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, PCV10 and PCV13, in childhood immunization programs has significantly reduced disease in older adults.

The discussion highlighted that pneumococcal vaccination in both infants and older adults are important programs for protecting older adults from major causes of pneumonia and meningitis, an increasing priority given that the percent of the world’s population over 60 years of age will double from current levels to more than 2 billion people by 2050

Vaccine Strategy for the Next Decade. With the support of countries and partners, WHO is leading the co-creation of a new global vision and strategy to address immunization challenges over the next decade, to be endorsed by the World Health Assembly. Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) envisions a world where everyone, everywhere, at every age, fully benefits from vaccines to improve health and well-being.

WHO’s Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals (IVB) group presented the Ownership and Accountability (O&A) Framework options to SAGE members. These options emerged from wide-ranging consultations with country, regional, global, and civil society stakeholders. Supported by USAID’s Momentum Country and Global Leadership (MCGL), Chizoba Wonodi, Brian Wahl, Lois Privor-Dumm, and Maria Garcia Quesada provided technical support to IVB for the design, planning, and execution of consultations with the CSO constituency as well as consultations with Spanish-speaking countries. Rupali Limaye, Maria Garcia Quesada, and Gatien de Brouker synthesized stakeholder consultations, providing key recommendations that informed the O&A options shared with SAGE. 

View SAGE presentations here.