The Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) is a key program of The Task Force for Global Health. An innovative public/private program, PIVI works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ministries of Health, corporate partners and others to create sustainable, routine, seasonal influenza vaccination programs in low- and middle-income countries. PIVI works in concert with WHO programs to help countries prepare for pandemic influenza and to support countries’ efforts to control and prevent seasonal influenza.
This important work, which will ultimately be supported by a country’s Ministry of Health, not only protects communities from the annual impact of flu, but also builds the immunization infrastructure, capacity, and vaccine delivery systems critical for future influenza pandemics and other infectious disease epidemics.
The Task Force for Global Health works to improve health conditions for vulnerable populations around the world, especially people living in poverty. Its programs focus on controlling and eliminating debilitating diseases and building durable systems that protect and promote health.
Reduce the global disease burden from influenza, and improve the ability to respond to pandemics and other epidemic threats. We will achieve this through the development of sustainable, routine, seasonal influenza vaccination programs in low- and middle-income countries.
Ebola was horrible. But it’s not the most infectious agent in the world. It’s things like the flu and other pathogens that have increased infectiousness. Is the world ready for these challenges? I’d say there’s a lot more that would need to be done.
– Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction began with an innovative idea. In 2011 US pharmacy chain Walgreens approached the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with a question: Could Walgreens partner with the CDC to donate excess seasonal flu vaccine to a low-income country?
The CDC mobilized a partnership with the government of Laos, the World Health Organization Country Office in Laos, Walgreens, and UPS to coordinate donations of excess vaccine. These partners worked together to deliver 350,000 flu vaccines to Laos in 2012. This donation began to lay the foundation for what is becoming a sustainable national seasonal influenza vaccine program in Laos, the first in a low or low-middle income country in the region.
In 2013, with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and support from the CDC, The Task Force for Global Health formally launched the partnership as the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction, or PIVI.
Over the years PIVI’s work has evolved, as we realized that countries had different needs and were at various stages of readiness to engage in building sustainable influenza programs. To better support countries, we began to meet them where they were, providing technical assistance and readiness assessment, helping to build a strong foundation for sustainable influenza vaccine programs. This work also includes strengthening capacity for evidence-based vaccine policy decision making by National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAG), which helps to inform country-level decision making.
We also began to more pointedly integrate the approach that on-going seasonal influenza vaccine activities not only have the immediate effect of reducing the burden of influenza disease so people can contribute to the economy, their communities and families.
On-going seasonal influenza activities can improve pandemic influenza preparedness in the areas of surveillance, laboratory, and vaccine distribution and administration.
Pandemic preparedness can help to transform countries’ health systems, protecting the global community from the spread of a pandemic influenza virus and other emerging health threats.
To date, PIVI has provided/committed to provide more than 3 million doses of flu vaccine to Ministries of Health in Albania, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco and Nicaragua – working to create sustainable, seasonal influenza programs.
PIVI has worked in partnership with the CDC to provide technical assistance to Ministries of Health in Kenya, Thailand and Vietnam. Plans for program growth include assessing partnerships with India as well as continuing to expand to additional countries.