HHS provides grants to assist WHO in fighting flu in developing countries

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority has awarded three sets of grants that total $10.4 million in an effort to assist the World Health Organization’s plan to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to produce influenza vaccine.

The grant series will be used for a spectrum of activities related to the production of vaccine, including infrastructure development, training on vaccine manufacturing and the development and distribution of vaccine technology, according to

“Diseases do not respect borders so increasing the ability to make flu vaccine in any country helps every country reduce the spread of flu,” Robin Robinson, BARDA's director, told “While we continue to build vaccine manufacturing capacity in the United States, and develop new, faster technologies for producing vaccine domestically, we can increase pandemic preparedness worldwide by helping other countries take advantage of technology.”

The majority of the grant money - $6.4 million - will become part of a continuing international cooperative agreement in the Initiative for Vaccine Research, reports. The WHO regularly receives support requests from the developing world under this initiative to help expand regulatory systems, construct and validate manufacturing sites and transfer much need technological know-how.

A second set of grant money will be used for training developing countries in cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. Recipients of the funds include North Carolina State University’s Biotechnology and Education Center and Utah State’s Center for Integrated Biosystems.

The final set of grant money will go to the support of the development of adjuvant and the transfer of adjuvant technology, reports. The use of adjuvant is critical in boosting a vaccine’s effectiveness. Among the recipients are the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle and the University of Lausanne.