Universal Influenza Vaccine Program
The National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza (2005), and the National Pandemic Influenza: Implementation Plan (2006) directed HHS to build a domestic manufacturing surge capacity able to provide pandemic influenza vaccine for the entire country and to establish a pre-pandemic influenza vaccine stockpile to immunize the critical workforce. To these strategic goals, BARDA aimed to provide more and better influenza vaccines sooner by supporting initially the development of modern vaccine production technologies and adjuvants to build capacity for the manufacturing of seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines.
More recently BARDA addressed the need for better vaccines by launching in 2015 a new program to support the advanced development of more effective influenza vaccines with universal vaccine potential. The long-term aspirational goal is a truly universal influenza vaccine that elicits more effective and stronger immunity among all populations, longer-lasting and broader spectrum protective immunity against a wide range of divergent influenza strains for both seasonal and pandemic influenza, and that may serve as a primer vaccine for pandemic influenza vaccine and reduce the overall pandemic influenza vaccine demand.
Currently NIH/NIAID and BARDA are partnering with industry and academia to develop and manufacture new universal influenza vaccine candidates for evaluation in preclinical studies and clinical trials. Additionally, BARDA launched its more effective influenza vaccine development program by releasing a Request for Proposal (RFP) on March 16, 2015, following consultation with interagency and industry partners. The development and potential licensure of more effective/universal influenza vaccines will address the need for a new and more effective vaccine that may provide “influenza immunity for life” and transform our pandemic influenza preparedness readiness and response capabilities.