On February 6-7, The Task Force for Global Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened the 2nd Annual CDC and Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) Partners’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting brought together over 70 attendees from 22 countries to review and discuss ongoing collaborations to introduce or expand influenza vaccination programs globally, and to make plans for strengthening and expanding the work in the coming year. Participants represented The Task Force for Global Health (PIVI), CDC, Ministries of Health, World Health Organization, vaccine manufacturers, and non-governmental health organizations.
The Partners’ Meeting provided a focused time for national influenza vaccine program leaders, industry partners and influenza and vaccine technical experts to come together to share experiences in influenza vaccine program development and implementation, as well as a time to share thoughts on the urgent and often complimentary work of pandemic preparedness. Over the two days, partners were able to examine common challenges and opportunities, gain an understanding of tools for program evaluation and program improvement, and work on their approaches to sustainability planning – how each country partner can work with PIVI to create a multi-year plan to guide program growth and sustainability. Attendees, representing national vaccine programs collaborating with PIVI, were able to learn from technical experts in the fields of influenza prevention, sustainable influenza vaccination programs, as well as pandemic preparedness.
Another important area of sustainability planning includes how each country will work to build local support for an influenza vaccine program. PIVI and the CDC provide important technical assistance for policy development and strengthening; support and skills strengthening of National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs); as well as technical assistance in planning, implementing and evaluating program effectiveness to generate data to support national decision-making. The Partners’ Meeting provide a time to share results and learnings around NITAG trainings and improvements.
To date, PIVI has provided more than 3 million doses of flu vaccine to Ministries of Health in Albania, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco and Nicaragua – with the goal of creating sustainable, seasonal influenza programs. In addition, PIVI has worked in partnership with the CDC to provide technical assistance to Ministries of Health in Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam.
The year between the initial Partners’ Meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2017 and the Bangkok meeting was notable for progress in many areas including: improvement in program implementation; steps towards long-term sustainability; creation of data from program evaluations that will help leaders refine their approaches to reaching target population’ expansion of partner countries; and work on linking seasonal vaccination programs with national pandemic response plans.
For full meeting report,click here.