Pandemic vaccines

In an influenza pandemic, the virus is likely to spread rapidly as most populations will be susceptible to infection. Rapid production and deployment of vaccines is critical to limit the potential impact on populations and essential services.

Access to the appropriate vaccine in the early phases of a pandemic is greatly influenced by global production capacity and the lead-time required to produce influenza vaccines.

During the global influenza pandemic declared by WHO in June 2009, the majority of countries in the WHO European Region implemented vaccination campaigns against the A(H1N1)pdm09 virus. However, time of vaccine receipt and number of doses available in each country varied substantially across the Region, with many countries, especially those in the lowest income range, experiencing a severe delay in supply.

To address issues of access, affordability and effective deployment of pandemic vaccines, WHO has developed a Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines (GAP). The aim is to reduce the gap between the potential vaccine demand and supply anticipated during an influenza pandemic.

GAP implementation is supported by the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework, an international agreement established in 2011 that facilitates equitable influenza virus and benefit sharing.