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Workshop on Enhancing the Global Workforce for Vaccine Manufacturing

On This Page:

  • Overview
  • Goals
  • Objectives
  • Executive Summary
  • Co-Chairs
  • Agenda
  • Participants
  • Background Information
  • WHO Vaccine Workshop Website
  • Contact Information

Cape Town, South Africa

30 November – 2 December 2011



The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of Health, and Human Services (HHS) and other like-minded organizations and governments are committed to assisting in the creation of regionally-based, independent and sustainable vaccine production capacity in developing and emerging economy countries through capacity building and technology transfer. As a means of initiating a coordinated discussion among the international partners regarding this shared goal, WHO and HHS convened the Sustainable Influenza Vaccine Production Capacity Stakeholders' Workshop in Washington, D.C. in January 2010. It was discussed that international support for establishing or strengthening vaccine production capacity in developing and emerging economy countries must also include appropriate efforts to train and retain a skilled local workforce. A highly skilled workforce will support long term sustainability and viability of the operations of developing country vaccine manufacturers (DCVM). Every single staff member of a DCVM is vital to ensuring that the production facility is both functional and able to contribute to regional preparedness to face public health challenges.

Due to the synergies/similarities between the vaccine production workforce and the workforce producing other biological drugs, the two labor forces could complement each other during times of critical need. The management model of the biological drug manufacturing workforce could also serve as a benchmark for training, recruitment and retention policies.

Building upon the Stakeholders' Workshop, WHO and HHS are developing a Workshop on Enhancing the Global Workforce for Vaccine Manufacturing (WEGWVM). International vaccine manufacturing workforce capacity enhancement is defined as any efforts related to the recruitment, training, and retention of vaccine manufacturing personnel involved in the production of vaccines leading to the development of a highly skilled local workforce.The workshop will bring together key stakeholders to identify essential needs and current gaps in the vaccine manufacturing workforce in developing countries; discuss the development of a coordinated and sustainable approach to address these needs and gaps; generate ideas for leveraging existing resources; and delineate potential policy issues and options for the short, medium, and long-term.

The WHO Global Pandemic Influenza Action Plan to Increase Vaccine Supply (GAP) was reviewed and refined in 2011 as part of the formulation of a GAP-2 which will span the next 5 years. The new implementation plan aligns a timeline to stakeholder roles and responsibilities in the creation of sustainable influenza vaccine production capacity worldwide. Outputs from the WEGWVM are intended and expected to influence the implementation of the GAP-2.

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  • Support global public health preparedness through contributing to the establishment of strong vaccine production capacities worldwide
  • Establish trans-national and/or regional synergies in vaccine production capacity building
  • Recruit, train, and retain local vaccine manufacturing workforce
  • Develop innovative collaborations to address the vaccine production workforce development challenges faced by nations and regions with existing or planned vaccine production activities

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  • Provide a forum for discussions on enhancing the recruitment, training and retention of the international vaccine manufacturing workforce.
  • Identify current needs and gaps in vaccine manufacturing workforce capacity that must be addressed in order to meet the needs of developing countries.
  • Identify drivers and obstacles towards the development of a sustainable global vaccine manufacturing workforce, as well as identifying potential solutions for addressing challenges.
  • Provide an opportunity for vaccine manufacturers, experts in vaccine manufacturing training, and policy makers in low, mid and high income nations to strenthen new and existing partnerships.
  • Delineate policy issues and options for the short-, medium-, and long-term.
  • Provide a forum for highlighting successful models and best practices to invigorate vaccine manufacturing workforce development.

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Executive Summary

WEGWVM Executive Summary (.pdf 323kb)



Workshop Co-Chairs

Prof. Peter Ndumbe 

World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa


Dr. Nils Daulaire

US Department of Health and Human Services


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Additional information and slide sets from the workshop presentations can be found on the WHO website: Vaccine Workforce Slides


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The workshop included a broad range of stakeholders including representatives from developing and developed country vaccine manufacturers, small research-driven biotech companies, professional associations, government agencies and ministries, international donor organizations, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations.


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HHS Supports DCVM Workforce Development Through Intermediate and Advanced Biomanufacturing Training Program

The Intermediate and Advanced Biomanufacturing Training Program represents one of several initiatives serving as the foundations for the international vaccine production capacity building programs currently supported by HHS, the WHO, and PATH. Specifically, this initiative is intended to provide additional resources to the developing country vaccine manufacturers regarding their workforce training needs. The training program introduces new vaccine production technologies, regulatory principles and cGMP, while addressing existing issues historically serving as barriers in the production of safe and effective vaccines. It allows various individuals from DCVMs to learn best practices from industry professionals and academians whom provide a great wealth of experience in the vaccine manufacturing industry. The training programs also provide opportunities to develop unique and innovative solutions to the challenges that many DCVMs may face. Similarly, the program aims to support and sustain the short and long term operations of the DCVMs by training personnel critical to those operations while encouraging the transfer of knowledge to their colleagues locally.

While many bioprocessing/manufacturing training programs and models exist across the world, this initiative demonstrates a unique example of how the US Government has sought to achieve many of the goals and objectives that the WEIVMWC also emphasizes. In addition the program may help to provide valuable insight for the global community regarding workforce development and lessons learned.

In FY 2010 The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) issued cooperative agreement awards to the Utah State University Center for Integrated Biosystems (USU) and the North Carolina State University Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) to provide biomanufacturing training for the professional staff of ten (10) developing country vaccine manufacturers (DCVMs). This workforce development initiative, also known as the Intermediate and Advanced Biomanufacturing Training Program, is intended to support vaccine manufacturing operations and better position DCVMs and emerging economy countries to independently produce safe and effective vaccines to combat influenza viruses and other emerging public health threats.

The participating DCVMs are among those currently supported by grant and cooperative agreement funds provided by HHS, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Programs for Appropriate Technologies in Health (PATH). The DCVMs invited to participate in the training program nominated the appropriate staff members from their institutions to attend one of several 3 week training programs at USU and BTEC held over the course of several months in 2011.

The training curriculum involved both lectures and hands on/ laboratory work. Course topics ranged from egg and cell based vaccine production to upstream and downstream processing (using eggs or cells), and the regulatory aspects of vaccine production in a cGMP environment.  In total, between USU and BTEC, approximately 52 trainees representing ten (10) countries are expected to be trained under FY 2010 cooperative agreement funds.

This initiative represents one of several programs supported by HHS BARDA (in partnership with the WHO and PATH) dedicated to increasing vaccine production capacity in the developing world. The Intermediate and Advanced Biomanufacturing Training Program may be renewable for up to 5 years pending the availability of funds.

For more information:

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WHO Website for presentations and additional information


Contact Information

Alexandra Ganim, MPH
International Influenza Unit, Office of Global Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services