Modern Influenza Science Case Studies

Man receiving vaccine

Since their creation, influenza vaccines are the best way to prevent flu. However, distributing vaccines, selecting the candidate vaccine viruses to be used in vaccines, and how to encourage people to be vaccinated has greatly changed over time and remain complex public health issues.

Photograph by Athit Perawongmetha, United Parcel Service (UPS)

Complex Preparedness for a Complex World

Influenza pandemic preparedness has advanced significantly since 1918. Our ability to prepare for and respond to influenza threats has evolved over time in a complex political, social, and cultural context.

While we are much better prepared to combat influenza threats than 100 years ago, there is still room for improvement. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic reminded us that the geographical and biological origins of an influenza pandemic remain highly unpredictable. In recent years, outbreaks of avian and swine influenza viruses among people have demonstrated the ever-expanding interactions of human health and animal health. Limitations persist in current surveillance, vaccine production capabilities, vaccine effectiveness, and our ability to predict how the virus will change.

To address such challenges, public health scientists at CDC and its global partners work each day to improve methods for preventing and controlling seasonal influenza, which is the foundation for any response, including the global response needed for an influenza pandemic.

Modern Influenza Science Case Studies