Global Vaccine Safety

GACVS - Working mechanisms

Meetings and operational procedures

Meetings and practice of the Committee

GACVS normally meets twice a year. The frequency of meetings may, however, be adjusted as necessary. Decisions or recommendations are, as a rule, taken by consensus and involve only members. Meetings are held in English. If required to facilitate access to critical scientific information, translation of documents and interpretation is provided.

GACVS may appoint working groups to follow up and liaise with the WHO Secretariat on specific topics. The reports of such working groups are subsequently submitted to the full Committee for consideration. The function of such working groups is time-limited. The need for such sub-working groups and GACVS members to serve on them are identified during GACVS meetings. Specific WHO staff are identified as lead staff to work with the chair of such working groups and to recruit additional experts as appropriate. Sub-working groups determine the most efficient manner for accomplishing their work.

In addition to attendance of meetings, GACVS participation is expected from all members throughout the year, including participation in sub-working groups, video and telephone conferences as well as interactions via email. In light of the dynamic nature of safety issues, the Committee can discuss/make recommendations between meetings. Review of documents may also be solicited.

GACVS works with the WHO's Secretariat to develop meeting agendas.

Members of the Committee are requested to serve as focal points for the preparation of specific sessions as well as to facilitate discussion at the meeting and summarize the main conclusions and recommendations.

GACVS members are not remunerated for their work on the Committee. Travel and per diem expenses relating to meeting participation is, however, paid, in accordance with WHO regulations.

GACVS members may be requested to participate as observers in other WHO EMP departmental or cross-departmental meetings.

GACVS reports to the Director of the WHO Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products (EMP). The GACVS chairperson debriefs the EMP Director or his designee(s) subsequent to each GACVS meeting.

Observers and ad hoc experts

UNICEF, the Secretariat of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Uppsala WHO Collaborating Centre on International Drug Monitoring, and WHO staff from various headquarters departments, plus regional staff are invited to attend GACVS meetings and deliberations as observers.

Additional ad hoc experts may be invited to meetings for specific sessions as appropriate to further contribute to specific agenda items. These experts are only permitted to attend the session for which their expertise and factual contribution is solicited.

To help facilitate the participation of ad hoc experts and minimize cost, participation is possible by teleconference.

The Chair of SAGE is invited as an observer to the GACVS meetings and vice-versa. A report from the GACVS is expected at each SAGE meeting and a report on the previous SAGE meeting and recommendations is made at each GACVS meeting.