New Research on Seasonal Flu, Economics of Vaccination in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Gains Support via Wellcome Trust Award to Ready2Respond

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Ready2Respond, a coalition of public, private and non-profit organizations, has received funding from Wellcome Trust to generate new data-driven insights into the burden of influenza in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and the economic benefits of influenza vaccination in those regions.

Influenza vaccines are underused in LMICs; 49 percent of world's population receive only 5 percent of influenza vaccine doses annually.

Globally, ongoing challenges of implementing COVID-19 adult vaccination programs illustrate the difficulty of doing so quickly where seasonal vaccination programs do not already exist.

ATLANTA, Nov. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- New research into seasonal influenza's impact on communities in lower- and middle-income countries (LMIC) will soon be launched by Ready2Respond, a coalition of more than 50 public, private and non-profit organizations committed to empowering LMICs to be resilient in the face of emerging respiratory viral epidemics and pandemics. Made possible through funding by the Wellcome Trust, Ready2Respond research will also examine the economic benefits of seasonal influenza vaccination programs.

Ready2Respond is an initiative hosted at The Task Force for Global Health.

"Influenza vaccination programs are considered an important component of an effective local public health security system," said Marie Mazur, Director of Ready2Respond. "Yet, leaders who set policies affecting the health and wellbeing of entire populations lack the high quality data needed to fully appreciate the value of this particular public health tool, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Ready2Respond is grateful for Wellcome Trust's generous support as we continue to execute on research objectives designed to address this pressing issue."

"Vaccines save lives, but often the people who most urgently need them cannot get them. Wellcome supports the development of new vaccines and works to ensure the broader use of those for conditions such as influenza. An urgent need exists for research into the socio-economic benefits of influenza vaccination that decision-makers in low and middle income countries can use," said Charlie Weller, Head of Prevention at the Wellcome Trust. "Ready2Respond has prioritized work in this area and is poised to generate new data for use at country levels, which is critical in increasing vaccine uptake."

About Ready2Respond
Ready2Respond is a group of more than 50 philanthropic, industry and non-governmental organizations and national governments committed to improving global health and health security through broader and more effective seasonal immunization programs worldwide. Ready2Respond works to strengthen the evidence base and programmatic support for vaccination programs, namely across low- and middle-income countries. Ready2Respond additionally promotes the value of immunization programs in not only reducing the annual influenza disease burden but also in responding to and preparing for epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19. Ready2Respond is an initiative hosted at The Task Force for Global Health. For more information visit www.ready2respond.org.

About Wellcome Trust
Wellcome is a global charitable foundation. We want everyone to benefit from science's potential to improve health and save lives.Wellcome supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. We support discovery research into life, health and wellbeing, and we're taking on three worldwide health challenges: mental health, global heating and infectious diseases.

About The Task Force for Global Health
The Task Force for Global Health, based in Atlanta and founded nearly 40 years ago to advance health equity, works with partners in more than 150 countries to eliminate diseases, ensure access to vaccines and essential medicines, and strengthen health systems to protect populations. For more information, visit www.taskforce.org.

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