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Ann Ist Super Sanita ; 59(1): 26-30, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2281430


Among the objectives of the WHO Global Vaccination Action Plan 2020-2025, there is the establishment, in all countries, of a National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), an independent body with the aim of supporting and harmonising vaccination policies. Italy firstly established a NITAG in 2017; it contributed to the nation's immunization policies but fell short of its goal of becoming a true reference group. The newly appointed NITAG, made up of 28 independent experts, has the ambitious goal to promote the new National Immunization Prevention Plan (PNPV), to harmonise the current vaccination schedule with the anti-COVID-19 campaign, and to recover the vaccination coverage decline that occurred during the pandemic. The contact with the ECDC EU/EEA, the WHO Global NITAG networks, and all the national stakeholders needs to be reinforced in order to accomplish these aims. This paper describes the structure, organisation, and strategy of the new Italian NITAG.

Advisory Committees , COVID-19 , Immunization Programs , Mass Vaccination , Advisory Committees/history , Advisory Committees/organization & administration , Italy/epidemiology , Immunization Programs/ethics , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Immunization Programs/standards , Immunization Programs/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , History, 21st Century , Goals , Mass Vaccination/ethics , Mass Vaccination/organization & administration , Mass Vaccination/standards , Mass Vaccination/trends , Conflict of Interest , Humans
Health Secur ; 18(6): 473-482, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217794


Mass vaccination is a crucial public health intervention during outbreaks or pandemics for which vaccines are available. The US government has sponsored the development of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, for public health emergencies; however, federally supported programs, including the Public Health and Emergency Preparedness program and Cities Readiness Initiative, have historically emphasized antibiotic pill dispensing over mass vaccination. While mass vaccination and pill dispensing programs share similarities, they also have fundamental differences that require dedicated preparedness efforts to address. To date, only a limited number of public assessments of local mass vaccination operational capabilities have been conducted. To fill this gap, we interviewed 37 public health and preparedness officials representing 33 jurisdictions across the United States. We aimed to characterize their existing mass vaccination operational capacities and identify challenges and lessons learned in order to support the efforts of other jurisdictions to improve mass vaccination preparedness. We found that most jurisdictions were not capable of or had not planned for rapidly vaccinating their populations within a short period of time (eg, 1 to 2 weeks). Many also noted that their focus on pill dispensing was driven largely by federal funding requirements and that preparedness efforts for mass vaccination were often self-motivated. Barriers to implementing rapid mass vaccination operations included insufficient personnel qualified to administer vaccinations, increased patient load compared to pill-dispensing modalities, logistical challenges to maintaining cold chain, and operational challenges addressing high-risk populations, including children, pregnant women, and non-English-speaking populations. Considering the expected availability of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccine for distribution and dispensing to the public, our findings highlight critical considerations for planning possible future mass vaccination events, including during the novel coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Civil Defense/trends , Mass Vaccination/trends , Medical Countermeasures , Public Health , Vulnerable Populations/ethnology , Disaster Planning/trends , Humans , Mass Vaccination/organization & administration , Vaccination