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National Vaccine Program Office

Preparing for the Next Pandemic

In the event of a pandemic, good surveillance, timely vaccine development and production, and the ability to administer vaccine to large numbers of people in a short amount of time will be very important.

The vaccination program during a pandemic will probably be different from current annual flu shot programs in several respects

  • More people will want and need to be vaccinated, so we will need a larger supply of vaccine.

  • The warning period before a pandemic is likely to be short. Because the current vaccine manufacturing process takes a minimum of 6 months, it is likely that there will not be enough vaccine at the beginning of a pandemic to vaccinate everyone who wants it.

  • It may be necessary for an individual to receive two doses of vaccine to be fully protected against the virus.

In addition, communication and emergency response systems will have to be in place to assist in managing a pandemic.

Since 1993, Federal, State and local health officials have been working on several different preparedness efforts to reduce pandemic influenza-related deaths, sickness, and social disruption. One of the efforts is to develop a national plan that will cover many important aspects of responding to the next pandemic, including 1) enhancing surveillance and early detection of a novel virus, and 2) improving the public health infrastructure so pandemic-related programs can be effectively administered.


Flu Aid 2.0 : (currently a beta test version) is designed to help State and local-level public health officials plan, prepare, and practice for the next influenza pandemic by modeling the impact a pandemic might have on their community. The software is designed to provide a range of estimates of impact in terms of deaths, hospitalizations, and outpatient visits due to pandemic influenza. The software does not provide any description of how the pandemic will spread, i.e., when a specific community will be affected.

FluSurge: is a spreadsheet-based model which provides hospital administrators and public health officials estimates of the surge in demand for hospital-based services during the next influenza pandemic. FluSurge estimates the number of hospitalizations and deaths of an influenza pandemic and compares the number of persons hospitalized, the number of persons requiring ICU care, and the number of persons requiring ventilator support during a pandemic with existing hospital capacity.

For more information about Flu Aid 2.0 and/or FluSurge, contact Martin Meltzer, Ph.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCID/OD/OS, Mailstop C-12, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, E-mail:

Links To Other Influenza Sites

1. Influenza (Flu), CDC

2. Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), FDA
The mission of CBER is to protect and enhance the public health through regulation of biological products including blood, vaccines, therapeutics and related drugs and devices according to statutory authority. The regulation of these products is founded on science and law to ensure their purity, potency, safety, efficacy, and availability. CBER plays a critical role in the manufacture and licensing of influenza vaccine.

3. National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID),
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH, conducts and supports research aimed at finding better ways to treat and prevent influenza infections. This site includes NIAID fact sheets, brochures and news releases on influenza, as well as links to influenza information maintained by other federal agencies.

4. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) protects the health, quality, and marketability of our nation's livestock and poultry resources. Within VS, the Emergency Programs staff ( coordinates efforts to prepare for and respond to outbreaks of exotic animal diseases including highly pathogenic avian influenza. Surveillance for influenza A viruses in avian species in the U.S. are reported each year by the USDA, APHIS, VS, National Veterinary Services Laboratories in the Proceedings of the U.S. Animal Health Association Annual Meeting (

5. The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
The ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provides information access and dissemination. The ARS' Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory ( publishes information on avian influenza research and contacts for further information.

6. The Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System
(DoD-GEIS) was created in response to Presidential Decision Directive NSTC-7. In the directive, former President Clinton recognized the threat posed by emerging infectious diseases to the health of our global community and to our national security. Responsibilities and actions to improve our Nation's ability to identify and respond to the threat are assigned to many organizations and agencies, including the DoD.

7. The World Health Organization
The World Health Organization's Influenza Programme
( was created in 1946 as an international centre to collect and distribute information, coordinate laboratory work on influenza and train laboratory workers. After 50 years, WHO's global surveillance of influenza now maintains 110 National Influenza Centres in 83 countries and four WHO Collaborating Centres for Virus Reference and Research in Atlanta, USA; London, UK; Melbourne, Australia; and Tokyo, Japan.

Last revised: December 4, 2006


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