Serbia reaches a milestone for influenza vaccines production

Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera “Torlak”

On 25 April 2018, a meeting was held in Belgrade, Serbia to mark the successful development of a seasonal inactivated trivalent influenza vaccine by the Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera (Torlak).

The project was launched in 2009 under the auspices of the Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines (GAP) – initiated by WHO in 2006 to reduce global shortages of influenza vaccines – and has been made possible through investments by the Serbian government, PATH, the United States’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Torlak and WHO.

In addition to Serbia, WHO and partners have supported 13 other low- and middle-income countries in establishing influenza vaccine production capacity, with the ultimate ambition that in the event of a pandemic, countries with sustainable seasonal influenza manufacturing capacity could switch to pandemic influenza vaccine production for domestic and regional/international supplies.

With the newly established influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity, Serbia has the potential to become a regional supply hub for both seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. Continued investment in the coming years is crucial to maintaining and expanding Torlak’s facilities in order to sustain and increase dose production capacity.