Research that supports the Australian Government and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation 

NCIRS provides scientific research support to the Immunisation Branch of the Australian Government Department of Health and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), particularly for the development and implementation of national immunisation policies.

ATAGI provides scientific advice on immunisation to the Minister for Health, the Department of Health and various national government advisory committees. NCIRS conducts research, and reviews and synthesises the best available evidence to support ATAGI to formulate advice and clinical recommendations on immunisations for all Australians. ATAGI and the NCIRS focus on:

Research and other activities in other program areas at NCIRS also inform and complement our work in national immunisation policy development. These include surveillance of vaccine preventable disease, vaccination coverage monitoring, evaluation of national immunisation programs, and social science research.

What we do

  • We conduct primary research activities, such as in-depth analysis of Australian epidemiological data on vaccine-preventable diseases and Australian vaccination coverage data. We also collaborate with other expert academic groups in immunisation research projects, such as in analysis of linked datasets and mathematical modelling of vaccine-preventable diseases and immunisation strategies.

  • We undertake secondary research activities, such as reviews of published scientific literature, relevant to specific issues in prevention and control of vaccine-preventable diseases through immunisation.

  • We synthesise and translate the best available scientific evidence to assist the government and its advisory groups in considering, formulating and implementing national immunisation policies and programs.

  • We draft many of the ATAGI’s scientific advice documents. These include its advice to: the Australian Government Department of Health; several government advisory committees relevant for use of vaccines for prevention of infectious diseases; immunisation service providers, such as the annual ATAGI advice to immunisation providers regarding the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines. 

  • We support ATAGI in the development and formulation of clinical recommendations for the use of vaccines in the Australian Immunisation Handbook

  • We monitor the development pipeline of new vaccines locally and internationally, as well as immunisation policies and recommendations internationally. We prepare a summary of recent immunisation policy considerations by other countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) every 4 months.

Summary of issues considered by some National Immunisation Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) and some WHO immunisation-related advisory committees

NCIRS regularly summarises, for information for ATAGI, the most recent reports and recommendations of NITAGs of four other countries and WHO's immunisation-related advisory committees, including the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunisation. These include:

National Immunisation Technical Advisory Groups of:

Advisory groups of the WHO and Western Pacific Region, including: 

Historical summary documents are available here for reference:

You will need Adobe Acrobat to access these files.

It is important to note that decisions on immunisation policies take into account the local disease epidemiology, population characteristics, the health system, availability of specific vaccines, and existing immunisation service delivery systems. These summaries must be considered in this light.

For recent issues considered by ATAGI, please refer to the ATAGI Bulletins.

Last updated December 2018