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Flu News Day, 5/31/2022

Read the latest on influenza vaccines and upcoming funding opportunities in this week’s roundup.

Welcome to #FluNewsDay—your weekly round-up of articles, announcements and funding opportunities from across the influenza and pandemic preparedness spheres! Formerly Flu News Friday, we’ve rebranded our series to launch every Tuesday to best support and engage with our readers. Stay tuned for other updates to our announcements and funding sections coming soon.

May 2022

Kenya president addresses World Health Assembly in Geneva

Rédaction Africanews. (2022, May 22). Kenya president Addresses World Health Assembly in Geneva. Africanews.

Speaking at the 75th World Health Assembly, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya urged purchasing organizations and countries to prioritize and expand local manufacturing capacity to dismantle over-reliance on external markets and high-income countries for pandemic vaccines and health products. Noting disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Kenyatta (Kenya is a member of WHO’s executive board), called for greater investment into the regional production of health technologies. Without global investment in distributing the R&D pipeline, diseases such as COVID-19 will continue to be a threat to populations globally. Read the article for further remarks on the need for local manufacturing across every global region.

Read the full article here
May 2022

A Proposed Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Hosted by the World Bank

World Bank. (2022). A Proposed Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response [White paper].

Fearing the familiar cycle of panic and neglect, the international public health community has called for the establishment of a new and sustainable financing mechanism for pandemic preparedness and response (PPR). In a recent white paper, The World Bank describes key characteristics of their proposed Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness & Response that would pair national-level investments with external financing, particularly for LMICs, to generate a fund focused on strengthening PPR during ‘peacetime’ that can also efficiently disburse resources to beneficiary recipient entities and countries in times of need.  Read the white paper to learn more about the proposed governance structure and next steps for implementing the FIF.

Read the full White Paper here
May 2022

ACT-accelerator facilitation council co-chairs welcome financial and policy commitments made at the second global covid-19 summit.

Ramaphosa , C., & Støre, J. G. (2022, May 23). ACT-accelerator facilitation council co-chairs welcome financial and policy commitments made at the second global covid-19 summit. World Health Organization.

The Second Global COVID-19 Summit signified a world-wide commitment towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic, and the council co-chairs of WHO’s ACT-Accelerator applaud this global effort against complacency. During the Summit, new commitments (totaling around 1 billion USD) were made to the ACT-Accelerator’s constituent agencies. Still, to fully fund the ACT-Accelerator—which will vaccinate, test, treat, and protect those still vulnerable to COVID-19—an additional 12.1 billion USD is needed. Read more from the co-chairs here.

Read the full article here
May 2022

Ecological divergence of wild birds drives avian influenza spillover and global spread

Hill, N. J., Bishop, M. A., Trovão, N. S., Ineson, K. M., Schaefer, A. L., Puryear, W. B., Zhou, K., Foss, A. D., Clark, D. E., MacKenzie, K. G., Gass, J. D., Borkenhagen, L. K., Hall, J. S., & Runstadler, J. A. (2022). Ecological divergence of wild birds drives avian influenza spillover and global spread. PLOS Pathogens, 18(5).

While studies of zoonotic avian influenza typically focus on wild ducks and domestic poultry, new research has found that other aquatic wild birds contribute to influenza’s spread. Spillover from geese and swans play a key role in disseminating Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5 (HPAI H5), and gulls were shown to rapidly disperse influenza subtypes around the world. As wild birds often spread influenza to domestic animals, domestic aquatic birds then slowly expand the disease’s range. Learn about the role of wild geese, swans and gulls in transmitting H13, H16 and HPAI H5 here.

Read the full article here

Funding Opportunities & Announcements

  • Director, Vaccine Research Center (Link) [Job Opportunity]                 NIAID / May 23, 2022 / Open Until Filled

  • Wellcome Early-Career Awards (Link) [Grant]                                     Wellcome / Open Now / June 21, 2022

  • Build on existing COVID-19 infrastructure, partnerships and resources (Link) [Grant]                                                                                                Medical Research Council / March 22, 2022 / Closing Date TBD

  • Michelson Prize: Next Generation Grants (Link) [Prize]                    Michelson Medical Research Foundation & Science/AAAS / Open now / June 26, 2022