This report outlines how the Public Health Agency of Sweden organizes and investigates changes to national vaccination programmes. The main target group of the English version of the report is National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) and their Secretariats in other countries.
In Sweden, national vaccination programmes are regulated through the Communicable Diseases Act. According to the legislation, the Government decides on which diseases should be covered by national vaccination programmes, and the Public Health Agency of Sweden is responsible for developing evidence-based supporting material for these decisions and for issuing supplementary regulations further specifying target groups, number of doses and dose intervals.
To complement and support its mandatory tasks, the Public Health Agency has instituted a reference group for national vaccination programmes, composed of representatives of different agencies, professional associations and vaccination service providers.
Proposals for introducing vaccination programmes against new diseases or for making changes to existing programmes can be submitted from different sources. The reference group suggests which investigations should be a priority for the Agency. The final decision to start an investigation is taken by the Director-General as the activity plan of the Agency for the next calendar year is determined.
For each investigation, the Public Health Agency appoints a working group, which develops the necessary supporting materials. The materials and final proposals are sent for referral and are also open for public comments.