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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Executive Summary

Influenza poses a serious threat to national security and public health. Each year, seasonal influenza results in hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. Furthermore, influenza viruses have the potential to cause pandemics, which occur when a novel influenza virus – to which humans have little to no immunity – emerges, allowing the virus to spread easily from person-to-person. An influenza pandemic can occur at any time with little warning; any delay in detecting a novel influenza strain; sharing of influenza virus samples; and in developing, producing, distributing, or administering a therapeutic or vaccine could result in significant additional morbidity and mortality.

Vaccination is currently the most effective strategy for preventing influenza infection. While substantial progress has been made in national influenza preparedness and prevention, significant gaps remain: domestic influenza vaccine production is inefficient and insufficient, vaccine effectiveness is less than optimal, and vaccination rates across the United States are too low. To address these gaps, it is critical to modernize the United States’ influenza vaccine enterprise. This requires leveraging a comprehensive and collaborative approach to increase the accessibility and utility of diagnostics, to improve therapeutics, to enhance manufacturing capacities, and to increase vaccination coverage. Most importantly, there is a critical need for vaccines that are more effective, efficiently-produced, and domestically-manufactured.

Accordingly, as directed by the Executive Order (EO) 13887 on Modernizing Influenza Vaccines in the United States to Promote National Security and Public Health, this National Influenza Vaccine Modernization Strategy (NIVMS), 2020-2030, outlines a vision for the United States’ influenza vaccine enterprise to be highly responsive, flexible, resilient, scalable, and more effective at reducing the impact of seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses. This vision is supported by three overarching strategic objectives:

  1. Strengthen and diversify influenza vaccine development, manufacturing, and supply chain;
  2. Promote innovative approaches and use of new technologies to detect, prevent, and respond to influenza; and
  3. Increase influenza vaccine access and coverage across all populations.

These strategic objectives align with the four policy objectives outlined in the EO, which, together, culminate in a strategic approach with a vision to systematically transform the United States’ influenza vaccine enterprise. To adequately prepare for, prevent, detect, and respond to both seasonal influenza epidemics and inevitable pandemics, it is imperative that we continue to invest in domestically-based seasonal and pandemic preparedness efforts by collaborating with domestic and international stakeholders across sectors. Execution of this strategic approach over the next ten years will require innovative partnerships, financial investments, and efficient utilization of resources.

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  • This page last reviewed: September 29, 2020