GNN monthly update: January 24'

Dear all,

Welcome to 2024! SAGE is slowly yet surely approaching (March 11-14th 2024). For NITAG members wishing to listen in and who have not yet received an invitation, please send an email to myself and Dilber: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • STIKO (German NITAG) published the Standard vaccination of infants against meningococci of serogroup B: (only in German).

"The STIKO is expanding its existing recommendation on the indication vaccination against meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) to include a recommendation on the MenB standard vaccination for infants and young children aged < 5 years. The MenB vaccine 4CMenB (Bexsero) available for this age group should be administered in a 2+1 schedule. Prophylactic administration of paracetamol is recommended to prevent fever or pain after MenB vaccination. As the Epidemiological Bulletin 3/2024 explains, the aim of the new vaccination recommendation is to reduce the morbidity of invasive MenB disease and the resulting consequences (hospitalization, severe complications, disability and death) in infants and young children. Due to the potentially severe symptoms, possible secondary damage and high mortality, the reduction of invasive MenB diseases is of great importance to the population despite their rarity."

The recommendation is based on a systematic review and meta analysis (some of the documents in the appendix are in English):


COVID-19 vaccines:

  • STIKO (German NITAG) published their updated COVID-19 vaccination recommendations included in the general recommendations of STIKO 2024: Epidemiologisches Bulletin 2/2024 (

"A large proportion of the population in Germany has now been vaccinated several times against COVID-19 and has had one or more SARS-CoV-2 infections. The hybrid immunity acquired as a result generally offers good protection against severe cases of COVID-19. Due to the acquired immune protection, infections with the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants are predominantly mild in healthy people, although the risk of severe COVID-19 courses continues to increase steadily with age. STIKO has continuously adapted its COVID-19 vaccination recommendation since its initial publication in December 2020, taking into account new data and further vaccine approvals. The Epidemiological Bulletin 2/2024 publishes the updated COVID-19 vaccination recommendation and the associated scientific justification in order to review and, if necessary, complete the vaccination status. This shows, among other things, which groups of people should receive an annual COVID-19 booster vaccination in the fall in addition to basic immunity."

  • NACI (Canadian NITAG) published Guidance on an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccines in the spring for individuals at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. This guidance is based on current evidence and NACI expert opinion. NACI recommends that:

Starting in the spring of 2024, the following individuals who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 may receive an additional dose of XBB.1.5 COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Adult residents of long-term care homes and other congregate living settings for seniors
  • Individuals 6 months of age and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised (due to underlying conditions or treatment)


  • JCVI recommends chickenpox vaccine in childhood immunisation programme:



  • The addendum on Meningococcal vaccines: WHO position paper on the use of multivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccines in countries of the African meningitis belt, has now been published and is available:
  • WHO publishes the off-label vaccine use: explanatory note for countries:
  • The next SAGE meeting will be on March 11-14th 2024. For NITAG members wishing to listen in and who have not yet received an invitation, please send us an email.

Dates for your diary:

  • The next face-to-face GNN meeting will be in 28-30 April 2025.

Best wishes,