EB 144 agenda item 6.1 Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework

Published on: 30 January 2019

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits

Delivered by Paula Barbosa, Manager, Vaccines Policy

Pandemic influenza is a top global health priority for WHO in 2019. Seasonal influenza is also a significant public health concern, and the associated infrastructure required to support seasonal programs also enhances pandemic preparedness. The timely development and production of life-saving influenza vaccines every season, and in the event of a pandemic, relies on the timely sharing of virus samples. Industry strongly believes that the WHO should prioritize addressing the issue of seasonal and pandemic influenza virus sharing.

There are increasing examples of delayed virus sharing as countries seek to implement Nagoya Protocol. We urge the WHO and Member States to work with stakeholders to address this as a high priority. If virus sharing is delayed or even worse, halted, global public health security and emergency response becomes highly compromised and the investment case for the PIP Framework is greatly diminished.

We also urge WHO to consider the impact of any future approaches related to influenza GSD/DSI and to wait for further clarity from the ongoing discussions with the Convention on Biological Diversity and parties to the Nagoya Protocol. Any decisions made by the WHO could set a precedent to highly complex, legal, and sensitive discussions among parties to the Nagoya Protocol.