Global collaboration against influenza marks 70 years

Aug. 1, 2022

A release by the World Health Organization (WHO) marked the 70th anniversary of the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), and a long-standing collaboration for improved influenza preparedness.

Vaccines are the best way of protecting the most vulnerable against influenza. Every year, vaccine manufacturers have around just six months to make seasonal influenza vaccines available for each hemisphere. Each season, they rely on their close relationship with GISRS to access robust and timely information so that vaccines can be ready on time.

Influenza vaccine manufacturers have been long-standing partners of GISRS, in a collaboration that brings together both large multinationals and local manufacturers from across the globe, united in the purpose of making and supplying vaccines to prevent influenza disease.

The Influenza Vaccine Supply (IVS) Task Force of research-based vaccine manufacturers plays an active part in this group effort, not only by providing know-how but also through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) that provide funding to public influenza laboratories. This public–private collaboration is essential to support the isolation of influenza vaccine strains as suitable candidates for influenza vaccine production, an activity that benefits manufacturing processes worldwide.

Two of the large vaccine manufacturers in the IVS Task Force are part of the group of reassorting laboratories that routinely work with the public sector to prepare high yielding versions of the viruses to be used in manufacturing. Many manufacturers in the IVS Task Force supply materials, antigens and/or antibodies to be used as reagents in the potency assay for influenza vaccine lots each season. IVS Task Force members also routinely share technical information, such as yield data, that helps support GISRS decision-making.

The IVS Task Force celebrates 70 years of GISRS and looks forward to seeing it remain a key component for the detection and tracking of emerging respiratory viruses. It is an exemplary collaboration between public and private sectors and a solid foundation for building influenza vaccine capacity and uptake together. We remain committed to this joint cause.

WHO release