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Vaccine. 2006 Sep 29;24(40-41):6367-70.

A global pandemic influenza vaccine action plan.

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World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


In case of an influenza pandemic, the world will be in a situation where potential vaccine supply will fall short by several billion doses from global needs. The World Health Organization (WHO) convened in Geneva on May 2-3, 2006 a consultation of all stakeholders in influenza vaccines and immunization to identify practical solutions to fill this gap. The consultation resulted in a global action plan outlining promising specific strategies to increase influenza vaccine production and surge-capacity before and during an influenza pandemic. Although the timing and severity of the next influenza pandemic cannot be predicted, vaccines are considered the one of the most important medical interventions for reducing morbidity and mortality if and when such an event occurs. Despite this acknowledged role, current limitations on influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity mean that, should a pandemic virus emerge in the near future, vaccine supplies would fall short of the anticipated global demand by several billion doses. Concern about this situation was formally acknowledged in May 2005, when the World Health Assembly approved a resolution [1] on strengthening pandemic influenza preparedness and response. That resolution called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to seek solutions with international and national partners, including the private sector, to reduce the present global shortage of influenza vaccines. More specifically, the resolution asked WHO to look at strategies for economizing on the use of antigen and transferring production technologies from industrialized to developing countries. In response to this request, WHO convened a consultation from 2-3 May 2006 attended by representatives of the major stakeholders in the area of influenza vaccines and immunization. The consultation had two main objectives: (1) To prepare a global action plan with specific short-, medium-, and long-term activities designed to increase influenza vaccine production and surge-capacity, to identify key obstacles and driving forces, and to estimate funding needs.(2) To strengthen the engagement and collaboration of key partners and stakeholders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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