• APACI ;
  • influenza;
  • pandemic;
  • seasonal;
  • vaccine advocacy;
  • vaccine strategies

This article provides an overview of some aspects of seasonal, pre-pandemic and pandemic influenza vaccines and initiatives aimed to increase influenza vaccine use within the Asia–Pacific region. Expanding the use of influenza vaccines in the Asia–Pacific region faces many challenges. Despite the recent regional history for the emergence of novel viruses, SARS, the H5N1 and H7N9, and the generation of and global seeding of seasonal influenza viruses and initiatives by WHO and other organisations to expand influenza awareness, the use of seasonal influenza vaccines remains low. The improvement in current vaccine technologies with the licensing of quadrivalent, live-attenuated, cell culture-based, adjuvanted and the first recombinant influenza vaccine is an important step. The development of novel influenza vaccines able to provide improved protection and with improved manufacturing capacity is also advancing rapidly. However, of ongoing concern are seasonal influenza impact and the low use of seasonal influenza vaccines in the Asia–Pacific region. Improved influenza control strategies and their implementation in the region are needed. Initiatives by the World Health Organization (WHO), and specifically the Western Pacific Regional Office of WHO, are focusing on consistent vaccine policies and guidelines in countries in the region. The Asian-Pacific Alliance for the Control of Influenza (APACI) is contributing through the coordination of influenza advocacy initiates.