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Vaccine. 2009 May 21;27(24):3131-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.03.052. Epub 2009 Apr 8.

National immunization advisory committees of the World Health Organization's European Region.

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University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


This study sought to understand the prevalence, structure and decision-making process of national immunization advisory committees (IACs) among the 53 member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s European region. Of the 47 countries responding to the electronically administered questionnaire, 37 (72%) have an IAC. The majority of committees have a legislative basis while just over half have formal terms of reference. Fewer than half have experts in health economics. The vast majority of countries do not allow the public to attend committee meetings nor distribute publicly the minutes of their meetings. Countries should partner with financial experts early in the process of immunization policy decision-making and should examine their policies regarding conflicts of interest and public access to meetings, as financial strategy and public trust are essential to the successful implementation of new vaccines.

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