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FVF Ep. 4: Unlocking Influenza Pandemic Prevention

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Ep. 4: Unlocking Influenza Pandemic Prevention

In the latest bite-sized installment of the Flu Vaccine Forum, global experts and innovators discuss steps and investments the world should make for improved pandemic prevention, ranging from ground-breaking universal influenza vaccine development to transforming the global R&D ecosystem.

As 2024 continues, the question of steps for improved pandemic prevention remains. In this episode of the Flu Vaccine Forum, global public health experts discuss next steps and the opportunity to rebuild and restructure the global vaccine R&D ecosystem through investment in global health security—especially through investing in universal influenza vaccine development.

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Many of the building blocks for future pandemic prevention can be applied to influenza. As of the week of January 22nd, the CDC reports “at least 16 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations, and 11,000 deaths from flu so far this season”. A persistent seasonal scourge and certain pandemic threat, influenza has been the focus of research in the post-2020 vaccine landscape with strides being made towards a universal influenza vaccine. Further, the ongoing avian influenza outbreak underlines the ever-present need for a more effective flu vaccine.

Highlighted in the World Economic Forum’s round-up of 2023 healthcare stories, “the pandemic potential of the [avian influenza outbreak] is concerning some scientists, who are worried that with the virus circulating more widely, there is a higher chance of it mutating in a way that will affect humans” (World Economic Forum).

Whether it be through work on the current avian outbreak, universal influenza vaccine development, or a future influenza strain, improved pandemic preparedness can continue with influenza.

The following experts are featured in the episode:

  • Julie Gerberding | Former CDC Director, chief patent officer and executive vice president at Merck
  • Jeffrey Hubbell | Molecular Engineer, the University of Chicago
  • Andrew Lo | MIT Health Economist
  • Martha Nelson | The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  • Michael Osterholm | The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
  • Patrick Tippoo | executive director of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative
  • Rajeev Venkayya | CEO of Aerium Therapeutics

Would you rather watch the episode? You can catch the video version here.


Global Health Security Requires Pandemic Prevention

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