Vaccination against influenza: role and limitations in pandemic intervention plans

Authors: Rebmann, Terri; Zelicoff, Alan

Source: Expert Review of Vaccines, 1 August 2012, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 1009-1019(11)


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Influenza pandemics occur periodically and the subtype of the next pandemic strain cannot be predicted. Vaccination remains a critical intervention during pandemics, but current production technology requires several months to develop sufficient vaccine to meet anticipated worldwide need. Candidate prepandemic vaccines for use in population priming or rapid deployment during an epidemic are in development but are subtype specific and logistical obstacles to timely distribution exist. Intensive research is underway to identify a universal vaccine, providing protection against all known influenza strains based on shared epitopes. Vaccine access is expected to be limited during early response to a pandemic, necessitating ethical vaccine distribution plans for within-country and global allocation. Mass vaccination plans must be in place prior to an event to ensure appropriate infrastructures are in place. Carefully crafted education campaigns regarding pandemic vaccine safety and efficacy should aid in maximizing pandemic vaccine uptake during a future event.

Keywords: H1N1; H5N1; compliance; herd protection; pandemic; public health; surge capacity; vaccine

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute for Biosecurity, Saint Louis University, School of Public Health, St Louis, MO 63104, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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