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Planning for a pandemic – addressing research for influenza and other respiratory threats

An Infectious Disease Research Network workshop, organised at the request of the Department of Health. This event took place Friday 10 January 2014, at the Institute of Materials, Carlton House Terrace, central London.

final report

Click here to download the final report (pdf format)

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executive summary of report

A workshop was held in central London on 10 January 2014, attended by representatives from the Department of Health, the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, National Institute of Health Research and a panel of researchers with cross-disciplinary expertise in research concerning respiratory pandemic threats. The overall aim was to identify the outstanding questions for the response to influenza and other pandemic respiratory threats, and ways research might address them.
The discussions covered the time periods of inter-pandemic, pre-pandemic and early-pandemic. Within these, it was clear that the inter-pandemic period must be used wisely in anticipation of any future pandemic threat. Pre-approved ethics applications (and R&D approvals) and the designing of a single multi-study consent form would help in allowing research to start in a timely fashion and aid recruitment. The issues of the effectiveness of antivirals, vaccine uptake, closure of schools and behavioural interventions such as tailored hand-washing strategies and risk communication are important areas. During a pandemic, questions surrounding who will receive the vaccine and antivirals, how many unseen cases there may be, and how best to enhance surveillance services would be of great benefit. There would be further value in assessing bundles of interventions in healthcare settings and amongst the general public, and also increase and improve linkage between datasets to allow for ‘real time’ analysis. 

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presentations from the event

Some of the presentations from the event have been made available, these are as follows -

2009 Legacy gaps Virology & Diagnostics. Maria Zambon, Public Health England

Modelling priorities. Neil Ferguson Imperial College London

Influenza vaccines. Peter Openshaw, Imperial College London

Epidemiology and surveillance in a pandemic: questions to guide the public health response. Richard Pebody, Public Health England

Clinical concerns and pathogenesis. Wei Shen Lim, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

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This report is independent research commissioned and funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme (Infectious Disease Research Network, 019/0034). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Department of Health.

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Contact report author Michael Head,

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