Making Flu History
The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is committed to ending the threat of influenza through the development of a universal influenza vaccine, because only a longer lasting, broadly protective vaccine can shield us from the constant threat of influenza.
Each year, seasonal flu costs the United States more than $10 billion in direct medical costs and more than $87 billion in total economic costs. The 1918 Spanish flu saw one-third of the world’s population become infected with the influenza virus and witnessed at least 50 million deaths worldwide. And although that pandemic is now a century removed, the world is more vulnerable than ever to the next influenza pandemic, which could strike at any time. The scientific community has made admirable strides, but at the current pace of research and development, a vaccine that could end the threat of influenza is still, at best, a decade away.
Researchers predict that nearly 33 million people could be killed in the first six months of a severe influenza pandemic. There is a clear and urgent need for a next-generation influenza vaccine and more innovative approaches are needed to ensure that a vaccine is available before the next pandemic. Initiatives to spur development of a universal influenza vaccine by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Page Family in 2018 indicate a global commitment to ending the threat of influenza. A shared global quest is essential to improve – and save – the lives of millions of people around the world.
At Sabin, we are working to ensure the world is protected when the next pandemic flu strikes. To do this, we’re leading a modern-day movement with the potential to make influenza history. In October 2018, Sabin launched the Influenzer Initiative, a collective of creative thinkers across diverse industries, including science, engineering and technology, working together to accelerate the development of a universal influenza vaccine.
Together, we can stop the next pandemic before it starts. Whether you’re a materials scientist, a machine learning specialist or a glycobiologist, your unique perspective could be the key that unlocks a breakthrough. Help shape the future of health. Be an influenzer.