The Twentieth Meeting of the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Vaccine-preventable Diseases was held from 17-19 October 2012 in Washington, D.C. Participants included focal points from PAHO’s country offices, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO), WHO-EMRO, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors With-out Borders, GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, among others.
The slogan for the meeting, "Paving the Way for Immunization", reflected the Region’s leadership in immunization in the global context. The purpose of the meeting was to draft TAG recommendations on how to address current and future challenges facing immunization programmes in the Americas. In addition to the decision-making ses-sions, the secretariat for the meeting presented an updated report on the progress of the implementation of previ-ous TAG recommendations. Lastly, the secretariat reported on initiatives being executed and progress in the area of immunization.
The twentieth TAG Meeting addressed several topics including polio vaccines; use of thiomersal in vaccines; age restriction on rotavirus vaccine administration; Decade of Vaccines; evidence on pertussis; proposal for standardiz-ing PAHO’s TAG procedures; PAHO’s Revolving Fund in the current global vaccine market; improving regional vaccine production capacity to meet the needs of the Americas; measles, rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) elimination in the Region of the Americas; Haiti’s immunization programme; and cholera vaccination in the Americas.
Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, October 2012.