Upcoming Influenza Vaccine Workshops
- Spring 2013 (Tentative):
Communications with the Public and Media
Current influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity is concentrated in North America, Europe, Australia, Japan, Russia, and China. The World Health Organization (WHO) initiated in 2006 a Global Pandemic Influenza Action Plan to Increase Vaccine Supply (GAP), for which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been a major partner and financial supporter in addition to Japan, Canada, and the Asian Development Bank. WHO is now working with vaccine manufacturers in 11 developing countries to increase production capacity; commercial-scale production has been reached or is imminent in some cases. Despite these efforts, however, major gaps remain in influenza vaccine production capacity, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The (H1N1) 2009 pandemic revealed enduring weaknesses in the world's ability to protect itself with influenza vaccines. Whereas safe effective vaccines were developed and produced in record time, early access to pandemic vaccine was limited to developed countries. Many developing countries have yet to receive H1N1 pandemic vaccine for priority populations. The world remains poorly prepared to meet the vaccine needs for another influenza pandemic, especially one that could be deadlier than H1N1.
The Stakeholders' Workshop on Sustainable Influenza Vaccine Production Capacity, organized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), convened in Washington, DC January 11-13, 2010. Its primary purpose was to generate ideas for a comprehensive framework and strategic plan describing the present state, challenges, future vision, and steps necessary to reach the shared goal of creating regionally-based, independent, sustainable vaccine production capacity in developing and emerging-economy countries. The 100+ workshop participants represented a wide range of stakeholders, including non-governmental and philanthropic organizations, academia, vaccine manufacturers, and developing and emerging-economy countries.
Several distinct but related issues emerged during the Workshop: vaccine production technologies, opportunities for technology transfer, regulatory capacity, partnership models, surveillance systems, and workforce training. All of these elements are critical to successful building of sustainable vaccine production capacity worldwide and must be addressed by the international community. As a means of building on the Stakeholders' Workshop in a positive way and creating synergy among the international and multilateral stakeholders who participated in the workshop, HHS will facilitate a series of follow-up workshops, each focusing on one of the priority areas identified during the Stakeholders' Workshop. These workshops will serve to inform the refinement of the implementation plan for Approach 2 of the GAP: Increase influenza vaccine production capacity. The new implementation plan will align a timeline to stakeholder roles and responsibilities in the creation of sustainable influenza vaccine production capacity worldwide. All of the workshops will be organized in partnership with WHO and other relevant stakeholders.