Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

SAGE Working Group on measles and rubella vaccines (established November 2011)

Terms of Reference

  • Review progress towards 2015 global measles control targets and regional measles and rubella elimination goals.
  • Prepare for regular updates and review by SAGE on progress and challenges in achieving existing measles and rubella control targets and propose necessary updating of current WHO recommendations on vaccine use (including outbreak response immunization) and surveillance strategies.
  • Identify gaps in essential evidence and programme barriers to achieving measles and rubella/CRS elimination targets and present SAGE with proposed areas for operational or basic science research. The working group will liaise with SAGE Sub-Committees (i.e., QUIVER and IPAC) to address relevant quantitative issues as well as those related to immunization practices.
  • Advise SAGE on the appropriate timing for establishing target dates for global eradication of measles and global control or eradication targets for rubella and/or CRS.


SAGE Members

  • Narendra Arora, International Clinical Epidemiology Network, India (SAGE member, Chair of the Working Group since September 2015)
  • Hyam Bashour, changed as of February 2013- retired from Department of Family and Community Medicine, Damascus University, Syria (SAGE member until April 2011)
  • El Tayeb Ahmed El Sayed, Federal Ministry of Health, Sudan (SAGE member until June 2012)
  • David Durrheim, Hunter New England Area Health Service and Professor of Public Health, Australia (SAGE member until April 2012)
  • Peter Figueroa, Chair of Working Group. University of the West Indies, Jamaica (SAGE member until April 2015 and Chair of the Working Group until September 2015)
  • Helen Rees, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (SAGE member until August 2013)


  • Natasha Crowcroft, Surveillance and Epidemiology, Public Health Ontario, Canada
  • Heidi Larson, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom (resigned from the Working Group in February 2015)
  • Pier Luigi Lopalco, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Sweden (resigned from the Working Group in February 2015)
  • William Moss, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Susan Reef, Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
  • Makoto Takeda, Department of Virology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan (resigned from the Working Group in September 2015)

WHO Secretariat

  • Alya Dabbagh
  • Robert Perry
  • Peter Strebel


All Working Group members completed a declaration of interests.

One member reported relevant interests. All interests were assessed not to constitute a conflict of interest. It was concluded that all members could take part in full in all of the discussions. The reported relevant interests are summarized below:

Peter Figueroa:

• His unit receives a research grant from Merck to conduct a small clinical trial of an anti-retroviral drug on HIV for which he is the principal investigator. All the funds from this research grant go into expenses to cover the cost of the trial and he receives no payment for his contribution. This interest was assessed as non-personal, non-specific and financially significant*.

* According to WHO's Guidelines for Declaration of Interests (WHO expert), an interest is considered "personal" if it generates financial or non-financial gain to the expert, such as consulting income or a patent. "Specificity" states whether the declared interest is a subject matter of the meeting or work to be undertaken. An interest has "financial significance" if the honoraria, consultancy fee or other received funding, including those received by expert's organization, from any single vaccine manufacturer or other vaccine-related company exceeds 10,000 USD in a calendar year. Likewise, a shareholding in any one vaccine manufacturer or other vaccine-related company in excess of 1,000 USD would also constitute a “significant shareholding”.

Last updated: 23 September 2015