6.9 Pandemic influenza preparedness: sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits: report on the work of the Advisory Group

Secretariat note

In accordance with the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits required (section 7.2.6), the Director-General presents a report to the Board on the work carried out by the Advisory Group.

Watchers' notes of EB discussions

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (EB Document 130/18)

Summary of the session

Under this Agenda Item, EB Members discussed document EB130/18 “Pandemic influenza preparedness: sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits: report of the Advisory Group”.

Transparency in the work of the Advisory Group, particularly in terms of its involvement with industry, was stressed in the statements of several EB Members such as Estonia, speaking on behalf of the EU, China, and Brazil, a non-EB Member.  

Along those lines, a joint statement by Health Action international, Third World Network and Berne Declaration requested that the CVs and declarations of interests of the Members of the Advisory Group to be made public.

The Secretariat responded saying that they have been appointed in their individual capacity, and that this information is available on the WHO website.  The Secretariat responded to Member States comments saying that there will be separate meetings with the civil society and industry in the process of implementing the framework. The future report will include more information on the negotiation with industries. EB Members took note of the report.  

Details of the discussion

Estonia speaking on behalf of EU stressed the importance of transparency in all work of the advisory group including content of work, renewal process of its members, and discussions with industry.  

Canada viewed the PIP Framework as an example of how Member States and industries can work together, noting that the process of preparing the Framework was difficult but well done. Canada requested a clear definition of the role of Advisory group and the industries.  

While Chile did not mind the WHO taking opinion from industry, it was also of the view that priority should be given to opinions expressed by developing countries from different regions.

Sierra Leone, speaking on behalf of AFRO, noted the challenges which the region faces, particularly the need for awareness during the post pandemic period, and called upon the WHO to take the needs of the region into account, and monitor the implementation of the Framework.  

In the context of PIP, Mexico mentioned that their campaign called “Wash Your Hands” was very helpful as a preventive measure. From Mexico’s experience, there is a need to boost capacities in hospitals, not necessarily with specific equipment but rather by training staff.

US believed that active consultation with the Civil Society and industries is important during PIP. US would be happy to participate in working groups to support on PIP.

Brazil highlighted the key role of the Advisory Group in the implementation of the PIP Framework, particularly that it will be directly involved with industry. Brazil called on Member States to have the “zeal” for transparent and effective implementation, and to make the process more democratic.  

Thailand raised some concerns, including the need for concrete actions, noting that the commitment of flu-vaccine manufactures should be continuous and sustained.