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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:
supporting the National Immunisation Program (the Immunise Australia Program)
formulating clinical practice guidelines on the best ways to use vaccines to prevent infectious diseases in Australia, particularly the content of the Australian Immunisation Handbook
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.
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.
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:
the USA – the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
the UK – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)
Canada – the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)
New Zealand – the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC)
Advisory groups of the WHO and Western Pacific Region, including:
the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization of the WHO
the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety
the Immunization and Vaccine-related Implementation Research Advisory Committee
Historical summary documents are available here for reference:
Summary: December 2019 to May 2020 as at 6 May 2020 [789 KB]
Summary: September 2019 to December 2019 as at 16 December 2019 [PDF - 937 KB]
Summary: May 2019 to September 2019 as at 13 September 2019 [PDF - 411 KB]
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.
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We acknowledge that the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) is on the land of the traditional owners the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Australians, and recognise their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. Together, through research and partnership, we aim to move to a place of equity for all. NCIRS also acknowledges and pays respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations from which our research, staff and community are drawn.
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