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May 24, 2019

GHTC statement on pandemic influenza preparedness delivered at WHA

The following statement—from Global Health Council, supported by the Global Health Technologies Coalition—was delivered at the 72nd World Health Assembly on agenda item 12.1: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefit.Global Health Council supported by Global Health Technologies Coalition encourages innovative technologies and approaches to accelerate universal influenza vaccine research and development. 

Pandemic influenza is a looming public health threat — as the World Health Organization has noted, its emergence is a “matter of when not if — with far-reaching consequences.”  

The only way that we can take the threat of influenza off the table is with a vaccine that protects against influenza viruses we know and those we have yet to experience. Combating this significant threat to global health and shortening the timeline for a vaccine will require significant prioritization, collaboration, and investment in new approaches by WHO, member states as well as new partners.

The world needs a universal influenza vaccine to prevent massive loss of life and the extraordinary economic impact that a pandemic would have on our society. Progress has been slow but given the urgency, we need to explore new ways to solve this problem.

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