About Us

Our Mission is to Assure the World’s Readiness to Respond to the Next Pandemic Through Transformative Change in Vaccine Access and Immunization Policy, with a Focus on Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

While the full economic and health impacts of COVID-19 are not yet known, it is estimated that another respiratory pandemic – an influenza pandemic similar to that of 1918 – could result in 62 million deaths, with 96% of these deaths occurring in low- and lower middle-income countries.[1]

The real threat of a future influenza pandemic and the current COVID-19 pandemic underscore what the public health community has long known; it is crucial for countries to plan, and test these plans, before a pandemic emerges to effectively meet the challenges it will present.

The work of Ready2Respond is more critical and timely than ever. While influenza programs clearly reduce the annual influenza disease burden, they are also a mechanism to strengthen preparedness for future epidemics and pandemics, including the creation of vaccine delivery systems. Influenza program infrastructure is already supporting the efforts to fight COVID-19 and will be utilized to respond to COVID-19 once a vaccine becomes available.

Recent data have shown that countries in which seasonal influenza vaccination programs were present before the 2009 influenza pandemic were better able to import, and use vaccines faster than countries without such programs.[2]

This is because countries without seasonal influenza programs often lack the legal, programmatic, policy making, and regulatory capacity and experience necessary to quickly import and deploy influenza vaccines. Seasonal influenza program capacities are tested annually. These same systems allow for timely and efficient use of pandemic influenza vaccines, and can support any emergency response for which vaccines are deployed. A stable seasonal influenza system is a ready vaccine delivery system and enhances our collective global security.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Murray, C.J., Lopez, A.D., Chin, B., Feehan, D., Hill, K.H., 2006. Estimation of potential global pandemic influenza mortality on the basis of vital registry data from the 1918-20 pandemic: a quantitative analysis. Lancet 368 (9554), 2211–2218. 

[2] Rachael Porter, Shoshanna Goldin, Kathryn La Fond, Lisa Hedman, Mellissa Ungkuldee, Jordan Kurzum, Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner, Claudia Nannei, Joseph Bresee, Ann Moen. 2020. Does having a seasonal influenza program facilitate pandemic preparedness? An analysis of vaccine deployment during the 2009 pandemic. Vaccine 38. 1152-1159. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31839465  

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The Secretariat for Ready2Respond is hosted at The Task Force for Global Health.