GNN monthly update: September 22

Dear all,


Here comes the end of September, the fall season and the second ordinary SAGE meeting! NITAGs are getting back to other topics than COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 working groups are meeting less often - this will hopefully allow NITAG members to tackle the decrease in childhood immunization coverage and the ambitious IA2030 objectives.



Variant-containing vaccines:

  • The Irish NITAG published recommendations regarding BIVALENT mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, available here.
  • NACI issued recommendations on the use of bivalent Omicron-containing mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, available here.
  • The French NITAG recommends integrating the bivalent Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 and Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.4-5 vaccines into the vaccine strategy against Covid-19, full recommendation here.
  • ATAGI published a statement on use of the Moderna bivalent Original/Omicron vaccine, available here. The Moderna bivalent vaccine can be used as an alternative vaccine for any booster dose in people aged 18 years or older, according to the current ATAGI recommendations for booster doses. ATAGI have made no changes to the current booster recommendations and is not advising any extra booster doses beyond the second booster dose (fourth dose) in selected populations.


Pregnant and breastfeeding women:

  • NACI updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccines for individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding. NACI continues to strongly recommend that people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should receive a primary series of an authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. NACI also reiterates its existing recommendations for booster doses in these populations. The full statement is available here.


Booster vaccination:

  • The French NITAG updated their Booster vaccine strategy against Covid-19. The booster in the fall should preferably be carried out with a bivalent mRNA vaccine (Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1, Comirnaty bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1, Comirnaty bivalent Original/Omicron BA.4-5), regardless of the vaccine(s) previously used. For people under the age of 30 (for whom only the mono and bivalent Comirnaty vaccines are recommended), the NITAG recommends preferential use of the Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 and Comirnaty Omicron BA.4-5 bivalent vaccines for the autumn campaign. The full strategy is available in French here.




Herpes Zoster:

  • The NITAG in Belgium published an advice on Herpes Zoster vaccination. They recommend vaccination against Herpes Zoster with a non-live adjuvanted recombinant HZ subunit vaccine (2 dose regimen) for: - Immunocompetent adults aged ≥ 60 years. - Immunocompromised patients, including those under immunosuppressive therapy aged ≥ 16 years and also patients under treatment with anti-JAK therapy (SHC 9158 – chapter 5). Co-administration with the seasonal influenza vaccine or pneumococcal vaccine (PPV23 or PCV13) or dTpa is safe. Full guidance is available here.



  • ATAGI updated updated its MVA-BN advice to include intradermal. The full guidance is available here.
  • The NITAG in Belgium updated revised the Vaccination strategy against Monkeypox – the update is available in English here.
  • CoNaln (Argentina ) discussed monkeypox vaccination and concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend a smallpox vaccination strategy. It is recommended that a working group be formed to conduct research on the subject and propose an evidence-based recommendation on the vaccine and the strategy to be adopted. It is recommended to prioritize epidemiological surveillance, decentralize diagnostic methodology and train health personnel in the areas of diagnosis and prevention.
  • NACI updated the interim guidance on Imvamune® in the context of ongoing monkeypox outbreaks, available here.
  • CAVEI (Chile) issued the recommendation on vaccination against monkeypox in Chile, available in SPANISH here. CAVEI recommends to administer the monkeypox vaccine to the targeted population at least 4 weeks before or after receiving a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine or other vaccine, to facilitate the characterization and causality of possible Events Attributed to Vaccination or Immunization, for example in relation to myocarditis and/or pericarditis. However, priority should be given to protection against monkeypox therefore previous or concomitant vaccination with other vaccines should not delay its administration.



  • In Luxembourg, the NITAG issued recommendations for vaccination against pneumococcus for the adult population at risk (18 years and older) or aged 65 and over.
  • For people aged 65 and over who have not received prior vaccination: A single dose of PCV20 is to be administered. No reminder is necessary. For those previously vaccinated with PPV23: One dose of PCV20 should be administered at least one year after PPV23. No other reminder needed. For those previously vaccinated with PCV13: A dose of PPV23 vaccine should be administered at least 2 months after PCV13. No further reminder needed
  • For people >18 years of age who are immunocompromised and at risk of complications or severe pneumococcal infection and who have not received prior vaccination: A single dose of PCV20 is to be administered, followed by a booster with PPV23 every 5 years. For those previously vaccinated with PPV23: One dose of PCV20 should be administered at least one year after PPV23, followed by a booster by PPV23 every 5 years. For those previously vaccinated with PCV13: One dose of PPV23 vaccine should be administered at least 2 months after PCV13, followed a booster by PPV23 every 5 years.
Belgium NITAG published new recommendations for the Vaccination against pneumococcal disease for adults, available in French and in Dutch here. ACIP updated their recommendations on the use of 15-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Among U.S. Children. They recommended use of PCV15 as an option for pneumococcal conjugate vaccination of persons aged <19 years, according to currently recommended PCV13 dosing and schedules. Risk-based recommendations on use of PPSV23 have not changed. Full recommendation has been published here. UNITAG (Uganda NITAG) published an advice to switch PCV products from PCV10 – Synflorix to PCV10 - Pneumosil in Uganda’s routine immunization schedule, the recommendation is available here.



  • NACI published a supplemental statement on Recombinant Influenza Vaccines, available here. This supplemental statement addresses the annual influenza vaccination of adults who do not have contraindications to Supemtek. Supemtek may be considered among the quadrivalent influenza vaccines offered to adults 18 years of age and older for their annual influenza vaccination.



  • The Niger NITAG recommends vaccination with the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine according to a 4-dose schedule to children from the age of 6 months, the advice is available in French here.



  • SAGE updated the interim recommendations for Novavax, including the age indication from age 12 years upwards, the 8-week gap between primary doses and the limited post-surveillance data for pregnant persons. The interim recommendations are available here. The What you need to know has been updated accordingly and can be found here.
  • SAGE ordinary meeting is being held on October 3-6, 2022 – SAGE members will meet face to face but other participants can observe the meeting online. NITAG representatives are welcome and should register to participate. Check the meeting agenda here.



  • The conclusions of the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012–2020 implementation midterm review highlighted the need to update protocols for guiding surveillance and outbreak investigation and response. To that end, WHO and partners have developed the Measles Outbreak Guide to assist with measles outbreak management in all settings that are striving for and approaching measles elimination.
  • WHO – UNICEF guidance on Considerations for integrating COVID-19 vaccination into immunization programmes and primary health care for 2022 and beyond


  • CALL FOR APPLICATION: The 23rd ADVAC will take place at Les Pensières, Annecy, France from 8 to 19 May 2023. The applications are open until November 15th. We highly encourage NITAG members to apply as this is a great learning and networking opportunity. More on the ADVAC website:

Best wishes to all.



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