Session of the 140th WHO Executive Board, 27. January 2017

Germany’s Statement on the Review of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework

Germany aligns itself with the proposal read out by Malta on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. Germany welcomes most recommendations of the PIP Review Group without reservations. Germany agrees that the PIP Framework is a bold and innovative tool which is generally well implemented. The development of additional process measures, to enable better monitoring of key areas of work, might further accelerate the Framework’s implementation and would allow for greater clarity on progress. We would like to point out that the animal influenza virus as potential influenza viruses with human pandemic potential should be considered until further progress.

We share the view that expanding the Framework to seasonal influenza would bear a bundle of consequences. These consequences still need to be thoroughly considered in advance to avoid deleterious implications on the timely functioning of the GISRS system and the public health response to seasonal influenza viruses. Therefore we agree that the current scope of the PIP Framework should remain on pandemic influenza at this time.

While noting the Review Group’s recommendation on amending the definition of PIP Biological Materials to include genetic sequence data, we recommend that any decision on this amendment should be done through a continued analytic and consultative process. Potential consequences of amending this definition must be well assessed including the risk of delaying GSD sharing. In addition, further clarity is needed on realistic approaches to monitor the use of GSD and on models to share benefits for the use of GSD.

In this regard we would like to refer to the already well-established and widely used sharing mechanism of influenza virus GSD from GISAID. This sharing mechanism is applied for GSDs uploaded in EpiFluTM and allows traceability of GSD. We appreciate that the Review Group underlined the critical role of the WHO Collaborating Centres and other key laboratories in the GISRS network. In this regard Germany welcomes the Review Group’s recommendation to the DG to ensure that activities of GISRS and the PIP Framework remain closely aligned and integrated in the Global Influenza Programme.

We welcome the recommendation to further align capacity building activities under the PIP Framework to IHR implementation activities. Germany will maintain its commitment to global influenza preparedness and to the PIP Framework. One important pillar of this commitment is our partnership with GISAID. We will continue to host the database EpiFlu™ as an important tool for sharing of genetic sequences data in the spirit of the PIP Framework, ensuring fair, timely and transparent access to GSD in a sustainable way.

Thank you!


Source: Federal Republic of Germany