Specific information on the role and expectations of SAGE members and how to apply
Role and responsibilities of SAGE
SAGE serves as the principal advisory group to the World Health Organization (WHO) for development of policy related to vaccines and immunization. SAGE is charged with advising WHO on overall global policies and strategies, ranging from vaccine and technology research and development, to delivery of immunization and linkages between immunization and other health interventions. The mandate of SAGE is to provide strategic advice rather than detailed technical input, and is not restricted to childhood vaccines and immunization but extends to the control of all vaccine-preventable diseases.
SAGE advises the Director-General of WHO specifically on the:
- adequacy of progress towards the achievement of the goals of the Global Immunization Vision and Strategy (GIVS);
- major issues and challenges to be addressed with respect to achieving the goals of GIVS;
- immunization programme response to current public health priorities;
- policies, goals and targets including those related to vaccine research and development;
- recommendations on the use of vaccines in immunization programmes. These recommendations form the basis of WHO vaccine position papers published in the Weekly Epidemiological Record;
- adequacy of WHO's strategic plan and priority activities to achieve the GIVS goals consistent with its mandate and considering the comparative advantages and the respective roles of partner organizations;
- cross-departmental activities and initiatives related to vaccine and immunization technologies and strategies and linkages with other health interventions;
- engagement of WHO in partnerships that will enhance achievement of global immunization goals.
SAGE has no executive or regulatory function. Its role is solely to provide advice and recommendations to the Director-General of WHO, and includes providing advice and recommendations on urgent matters as needed.
Members of SAGE have a responsibility to provide WHO with high quality, well considered advice and recommendations on matters described in the SAGE terms of reference. Members play a critical role in ensuring the reputation of SAGE as an internationally recognized advisory group in the field of immunization. In keeping with SAGE’s mandate to provide strategic advice rather than technical input, members will be committed to the development and improvement of public health policies. Specific technical input may be solicited from independent experts and relevant scientific advisory groups.
Recommendations of SAGE, as accepted by the Director-General of WHO are published in the Weekly Epidemiological Record and widely disseminated.
The Secretariat of SAGE is provided by WHO. The Senior Health Adviser, Immunization Policy, IVB Directors Office serves as the Executive Secretary.
The Group's deliberations on the appropriate use of vaccines include consideration of population-based studies such as efficacy, cost-benefit, and risk-benefit analyses as well as the burden of disease, vaccine characteristics, immunization strategies, programme costs and benefits, programme feasibility, acceptability and equity, ability to evaluate the programme, and ethical and political considerations.
Decision making should: be evidence-based, involve the participation of those concerned, be transparent, minimize conflicts of interests, and be reliable with explicit criteria.
Further information about SAGE is available at:
Last updated: 9 April 2009
Last updated: 9 April 2009