The Union health ministry has issued draft code of practice of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) which contains information about the responsibilities, structure, functioning, and procedures of the NTAGI and Standing Technical Sub-Committee (STSC).
This Code of Practice has been prepared after reviewing the best practices at global and national scientific advisory committees and has been ratified by chair & co-chairs of the NTAGI with inputs from members of the STSC. All members (current and prospective) of the NTAGI and STSC as well as individuals attending meetings are required to confirm their acceptance of the provisions set out in this document by signing the declaration.
The overall objective of the NTAGI is to provide advice to the health ministry on the strategies to control the burden and appropriately evaluate the impact of immunisation on Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) in the country. It shall evaluate licensed vaccines as well as prioritize other related interventions such as associated immune globulins and chemo-prophylactic agents and new technologies for delivery, logistics, disease prevention and monitoring of VPD prevalence, vaccination programme and other adjuncts to VPD control. Guidance for use of unlicensed vaccines may be developed if circumstances necessitate their use.
NTAGI recommendations may include guidance on all matters related to immunisation policy and programmes such as route, dose and frequency of administration of the vaccine; population groups (e.g. high risk groups, urban slums and tribal populations); circumstances (e.g. pandemics, natural disaster etc.) in which a vaccine or related agent is recommended; strategies for introduction of the vaccine (e.g. pilot/phased introduction, Special Immunisation Activities (SIAs), vaccines for post-exposure prophylaxis etc.); contraindications and adverse events associated with the vaccine or related agent; and recommendations on generation of relevant evidence, prior to and after vaccine introduction, monitoring of delivery and impact after vaccine introduction.
The NTAGI was established by an order of the Union health ministry in 2001. As India’s apex advisory body on immunisation, the NTAGI provides guidance and advice to the ministry on provision of vaccination and immunisation services for the effective control of vaccine preventable diseases in the country. Since its establishment, the NTAGI has been reconstituted twice, in 2010 and 2013. As per the health ministry order dated 25 June 2013 (13011/01/2013), the NTAGI now includes an STSC. The STSC is tasked with undertaking technical review of scientific evidence on matters related to immunisation policy and programmes. Final recommendations are drafted by the NTAGI taking into account the scientific review by the STSC and any other relevant evidence.
The ministry has invited comments and feedback from the stakeholders by August 4, 2016.