The Threat of Influenza
With the ability to mutate and spread rapidly, influenza endangers millions of lives, as well as global political and economic stability. A threat this great demands bold action.
What is Influenza?
Far more than a seasonal concern, influenza is a serious respiratory disease. More than 100 years after a global pandemic claimed an estimated 50 million lives, current vaccines cannot protect against the next worldwide outbreak.
Understanding the Threat
It is a matter of when — not if — a modern-day influenza pandemic will occur.
In today’s connected world, a pandemic could spread around the world within six months. In addition to the toll on families and communities, the impact of a global influenza pandemic would ripple across health care systems and economies.
A solution lies in the development of a universal influenza vaccine (UIV), one that would provide long-lasting immunity against many strains of the disease. Yet, the pace of current research means that a UIV is least a decade away. That’s why Sabin Vaccine Institute is bringing together bright minds from across research, industry and technology sectors to revolutionize vaccine development.
A universal influenza vaccine would be an outrageous goal, an audacious goal: a transforming goal for public health, and for the health of countries and families. But it’s also a goal that’s within our reach.Kate O’Brien, Director, Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, World Health Organization (WHO)