In 2011 the CDC partnered with the government of Lao PDR, the WHO Country Office in Lao PDR, Walgreens, and UPS to coordinate and deliver 350,000 donated influenza vaccines, laying the foundation for what is now a sustainable, national seasonal influenza vaccine program. With a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and support from the CDC, the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) was launched in 2013. Since then PIVI has partnered with countries building their influenza programs while also supporting their overall pandemic readiness.
The Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction becomes The Partnership for International Vaccine Initiatives
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic showed that PIVI’s value was not limited to influenza programs. Through the pandemic it became clear that countries with seasonal influenza vaccine programs delivered COVID-19 vaccine more efficiently. Because of this successful track record, the CDC once again worked with The Task Force for Global Health to create the COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Program (CoVIP) – which was built on PIVI’s model.
As a result of this new reality – PIVI’s mission has expanded beyond influenza to reflect the broader mission of reducing the global disease burden from influenza and other respiratory viruses, while improving national and global responses to pandemics and other epidemic threats.
PIVI continues to partner with countries on their individual needs. Support includes providing donated or low-cost influenza vaccines and/or technical assistance and readiness assessments to establish a solid foundation for sustainable vaccine programs. This work includes strengthening capacity for evidence-based vaccine policy by National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAG), which informs country-level decision making.
In addition, while most countries have robust vaccine delivery systems for children thanks to the Expanded Program on Immunizations (EPI) led by the WHO, substantially less effort has been made to ensure that adults around the world have that same access to life-saving vaccines. Right now we are in a unique position as every country in the world is better prepared for a pandemic than before COVID, because countries now have a vaccine delivery system in place to get vaccines to those who need them. PIVI is positioned to help maintain these systems.
To date, PIVI has provided more than 5.1 million doses of influenza vaccine and/or technical assistance to Ministries of Health in Albania, Armenia, Bhutan, Cote d’Ivoire, Georgia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine and Vietnam, working to create sustainable, seasonal influenza programs.