The European Union (EU) joined hands with India on research and innovation to develop a next-generation influenza vaccine.
EUR 30 million has been earmarked for the research and development activity with the objective of advancing the efficacy, safety, duration of immunity and reactivity against a large number of influenza strains.
Both the EU and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, have committed EUR 15 million each to fund the
joint project. The EU fund for this programme comes from its research and innovation ‘Horizon 2020’ programme.
These joint efforts also aim to develop cost-effective and affordable influenza vaccine rapidly without compromising quality. Keeping this in mind, the participating consortia need to bring together multidisciplinary stakeholders who can represent any part of the chain from the lab to the market.
“In engaging jointly on this topic, India and the EU are contributing to an important global public health challenge. Improved influenza vaccines would help the international community to better prepare in the event of an influenza pandemic,” said Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union, launching the programme.
It is expected that the outcome of the projects will also contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 to ensure health and well-being for all and boost the Indian National Health Mission. Addressing seasonal flu vaccination is also high on the EU health agenda with the European Commission urging EU member states to commit to vaccinating 75% of risk groups against seasonal flu each year.