Pandemic Influenza Vaccine: An Investment in Preparedness that Lasts More Than a Decade

As part of our nation’s overall pandemic preparedness strategy, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) set a preparedness goal of establishing and maintaining a stockpile of bulk vaccine antigen and adjuvants for influenza viruses with pandemic potential to vaccinate 26 million people immediately after a pandemic is declared.

Safety and immunogenicity of influenza A(H5N1) vaccine stored up to twelve years in the National Pre-Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Stockpile (NPIVS)

The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) conducted a randomized, double-blinded Phase 2 clinical study with the oldest stockpiled influenza A(H5N1) antigen, stored over the previous 10–12 years administered with or without MF59® adjuvant, stored over the previous 2–7 years at the time of vaccination.

A shot-in-the-dark email leads to a century-old family treasure — and hope of cracking a deadly flu

The pandemic occurred before the age of molecular virology. Back then it wasn’t even known what caused influenza; influenza viruses were first detected in 1930. In the decades that followed, though, it was recognized that the pandemic was caused by an influenza A virus of the H1N1 subtype. In the late 1990s, U.S. army scientists found and deciphered the virus’s genetic code.