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Lessons from COVID-19: Advancing Development of Universal Influenza Vaccines

What can COVID-19 response teach us about the future of universal influenza vaccine R&D? Read our latest white paper for findings from our 2020 literature review, interviews and survey with insights from over 200 professionals from 45 countries.

The vaccine R&D ecosystem after COVID-19: paradigm shifts or business as usual in tackling future influenza pandemic threats?

The urgent scientific and technological response to COVID-19—marked by unprecedented collaboration across disciplines and sectors, and fueled by a vast, diverse funding network—has rapidly altered the vaccine research and development ecosystem. To distill lessons to guide future efforts against pandemic disease threats, including the likely emergence of a novel, virulent influenza virus, we sought to identify and assess novel and effective approaches to vaccine development employed in this crisis.  What worked, and what barriers to progress persist?

In our latest white paper, we examine the results of information-gathering activities aimed at harnessing COVID-era insights to inform and inspire the next-generation influenza vaccine development. To assess the changing R&D landscape, we conducted video interviews, a broad stakeholder survey, and a scientific literature and policy review, gathering perspectives from professionals and thought leaders in the life sciences, vaccinology, pandemic preparedness, vaccine regulation, policy and funding. Combined, they provide a timely review of this crucial period in vaccine innovation, and its implications for preventing future pandemics.

Download the Paper

Expert Interviews


Applying Lessons Learned from COVID-19 to Prevent Influenza Pandemics

Watch the interviews that helped inform our white paper in this episode of our documentary video series. The on-going series taps the wisdom of research and industry leaders on what COVID-19 can teach us about pandemic preparedness, vaccine development and public health policy.

This video features perspectives from Alan Bernstein (CIFAR president), Julie Gerberding (Merck EVP and former CDC Director), Edward Holmes (University of Sydney professor of viral evolution), Mike Osterholm (CIDRAP director), Lynda Stuart (BMGF Deputy Director of Vaccines), and Holden Thorp (Science Editor-in-Chief).

Learn more in our ESWI presentation


The vaccine R&D ecosystem after COVID-19

Findings from the white paper were shared in the European Scientific Working group on Influenza’s virtual conference. Learn more from the lecture and Q&A session presented by Marissa Malchione on December 6, 2020.