The Task Force for Global Health has been awarded a $10-million cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help develop sustainable seasonal influenza vaccine programs in 8-10 low- and middle-income countries.
Under the five-year commitment, the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction or PIVI, a Task Force project, will provide flu vaccine and technical support to these countries for developing seasonal vaccination programs. The initial focus of these programs will be on vaccinating high-risk groups, particularly pregnant women and healthcare workers. Within five years, it is hoped that these countries will be able to develop sustainable programs for these populations.
Sustainable vaccine programs reduce the burden of influenza globally and are vital to building the capacity for pandemic preparedness.
“The 2009 H1N1 pandemic demonstrated that many countries are not as well prepared as they should and could be to respond to a pandemic,” said Mark McKinlay, PhD, director of The Task Force’s Center for Vaccine Equity. “PIVI’s goal is to make more countries ready, thus stemming the tide of future pandemics.”
Since 2014, PIVI has provided 1.38 million doses of donated flu vaccine to ministries of health in Armenia, Laos, Moldova, Morocco, and Nicaragua.
Globally, seasonal flu results in millions of cases of severe illness, and between 250,000 to 500,000 deaths annually.