Global action plan for influenza vaccines

OBJECTIVE 1. Increase in seasonal vaccine use

The first GAP approach is to encourage countries to increase their seasonal vaccine use.


WHO/Chris Black

Increase use of seasonal influenza vaccine. This will reduce disease burden of seasonal influenza infections, contribute towards the preparedness of countries to respond to an eventual pandemic and motivate industry to develop greater capacity for manufacturing vaccines.

To assist Member States to formulate appropriate policies for seasonal influenza vaccination programmes as well as to plan for equitable access to and deployment of vaccine in the event of the pandemic, WHO is implementing the following activities:

  • surveillance of seasonal disease burden
  • assess current and planned seasonal vaccine use, and potential pandemic vaccine demand
  • strengthen national immunization advisory committees
  • assess and strengthen national capacity to deploy pandemic vaccine
  • establish an H5N1 influenza vaccine stockpile
  • develop tools to estimate the impact and cost-effectiveness of different scenarios with limited pandemic influenza vaccine availability
  • promote activities to ensure equitable access for all Member States to pandemic influenza vaccines

Progress under GAP and other relevant activities

  • Two global surveys (Mapping the landscape-current and future use of influenza vaccine (2007) and Survey for the Global mapping of seasonal influenza vaccine (2010)) mapped for the first time the global landscape on the current and forecasted use of influenza vaccine, and led many countries to raise the role of vaccination in their influenza pandemic preparedness plans.
  • WHO supported studies on several country models that focused on the use of a limited supply of pandemic influenza vaccine. Since then, an informal network of modelers has been analysing the potential outcome of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions in different settings, using the evolution of the recent influenza A (H1N1) pandemic as an unrivalled real-time example for the modeling.
  • In partnership with the Supporting National Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees (SIVAC) Initiative, WHO continued its efforts to assist countries in establishing and strengthening their National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs). Among the key elements of this work was the development of a supplement on NITAGs in the journal "Vaccine" and collaboration in the establishment of the SIVAC-run NITAG Resource Centre.
  • Guidelines for deployment and vaccination with a pandemic influenza vaccine were developed to assist governmental authorities and civil authorities in updating or preparing their current National Vaccination and Deployment Plans (NVDP).

Background information:

GAP I, 2-3 May 2006, Geneva

GAP II, 12-14 July 2011, Geneva

Topics of interest suggested for discussion in working groups:

  • Disease burden and surveillance status in developing countries
  • Target groups for influenza vaccination including high risk population
  • Safety and efficacy of influenza seasonal vaccine
  • Effectiveness and cost effectiveness of influenza pandemic and seasonal vaccination
  • Influenza vaccination policies in different income settings
  • Ethical, social and legal issues in increasing seasonal influenza vaccine usage
  • Communication strategies