The NCIRS Policy Support Group provides research and technical support for the development of immunisation policy in Australia. This work is done mainly in conjunction with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), a ministerial advisory group of the Australian Government Department of Health.
NCIRS staff support up to six concurrently operating working parties of ATAGI. NCIRS has supported ATAGI working parties in the areas of:
- hepatitis B
- meningococcal disease
- pneumococcal disease
- seasonal influenza
These working parties are usually formed to examine vaccine preventable diseases where there are new questions regarding disease control or new vaccines available.
The role of NCIRS includes the coordination of literature searching, critical appraisal, systematic review, scientific writing of draft documents for review by working party members and subsequently ATAGI and, in some cases, new data analyses or disease modelling projects.
In addition, vaccines submitted to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), for consideration of National Immunisation Program (NIP) funding, require advice from ATAGI to the PBAC at various stages in this process. NCIRS staff assigned to ATAGI working parties also contribute to drafting ATAGI advice to the PBAC. NCIRS provides data analysis, literature review and synthesis, and technical report writing to support ATAGI in the development of these advice documents.