Questions & Answers
Influenza - Pandemic - Policy Planning and Management
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  1. Is there a vaccine to prevent pandemic influenza infection in humans?
    No, there is no universal vaccine to protect again pandemic influenza.  If a new strain emerges a new vaccine would need to be developed to target those unique influenza strains.  The constantly evolving nature of influenza viruses requires continuous global monitoring and frequent reformulation of influenza vaccines.  For more than 50 years, WHO has been collaborating with scientists and policy makers on a global scale to develop a unified approach to manufacturing, testing, and regulatory oversight of influenza vaccine development as well as their efficient use and distribution.

  2. How long would it take to develop a vaccine for the new subtype of virus?
    Experts predict it would take up to six months to develop and produce a vaccine after the emergence of a new pandemic strain of influenza virus.  Initially, vaccine production would allow protection of a few, then progressively more people.  Along with the development and production of influenza vaccines, the essential components of a comprehensive pandemic response, is planning ahead for the needed supplies and other respective health care resources that would be needed during the emergency.