WHO Informal Consultation for Improving Influenza Vaccine Virus Selection
14 to 16 June 2010: Consultation by invitation*
WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
WHO consultations for vaccine virus selection take place twice a year and play a critical role in seasonal influenza vaccine composition and subsequent development and production of influenza vaccines for the northern and southern hemispheres.
Significant improvements to influenza vaccine virus selection have been made over the years through concerted efforts to strengthen the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN) to increase the number, quality, timeliness and geographical distribution of influenza virus isolates analyzed in WHO Collaborating Centers and National Influenza Centers, to adapt laboratory assays and adopt new methods to enhance the vaccine virus selection. Nevertheless limitations remain with respect to the amount of data available at the time decisions must be made, the laboratory technology used to characterize viruses and the methods to analyze the data.
This meeting aims to review and improve the influenza vaccine virus selection process through:
- An in-depth review of current vaccine virus selection process;
- Improved understanding of the roles and functions of GISN in the vaccine virus selection process;
- A detailed overview of vaccine virus selection constraints and examination of potential solutions to improve the process;
- An overview of new approaches which could be potentially applied to the process.
- To inform members outside the GISN how influenza vaccine virus selections are made, including the limitations of the available data;
- To discuss the practical and regulatory issues that must be considered for vaccine selection;
- To provide stakeholders with a forum to suggest potential improvements for influenza vaccine virus selection process;
- To provide the basis for a publication describing the process of vaccine virus selection in detail and outline the strengths and weaknesses of the current system along with new methods, new approaches and practical steps that could be implemented to improve the process;
- To determine if additional meetings on this subject are warranted.
- Representatives from five WHO Collaborating Centres on Reference and Research on influenza in Atlanta (United States), London (United Kingdom), Melbourne (Australia), Memphis (United States) and Tokyo (Japan);
- Representatives from Essential Regulatory Laboratories involved in the WHO vaccine virus process;
- Representatives from National Influenza Centres of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network, and from the WHO H5 Reference Laboratories;
- Representatives from an antigenic cartography group in the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom;
- Representatives from national regulatory authorities;
- Representatives from research laboratories and institutions;
- Representatives from OFFLU institutions;
- Human influenza vaccine manufacturers.
- Understanding the process used for selection process of influenza vaccine viruses;
- Improving surveillance and representative virus sharing;
- Improving assays used for influenza vaccine virus selection;
- Modeling approaches to improve vaccine strain selection;
- Perspectives from regulators and industry;
- Next steps.
*If you are interested in participating in this meeting at your own cost, please register for this meeting by sending an e-mail to: GISN@who.int by Wednesday 19 May 2010. Please include the meeting title and dates in the subject line. No registration fee is required.