The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), created the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVICs) program, a network of research centers and cores that work together in a coordinated, multidisciplinary effort to advance influenza vaccine science. The overarching goals of this program include:
NIAID provided up to approximately $51 million in total first-year funding for the program to support the CIVICs Network over seven years.
CIVICs was created out of needs identified in the NIAID Universal Influenza Vaccine Strategic Plan published in August 2018. The goal for universal vaccines is to provide long-lasting protection against multiple influenza strains, including those with the potential to cause a pandemic. The effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines ranges between 10% and 60%. To limit the public health consequences of both seasonal and pandemic influenza, vaccines that are more broadly and durably protective are needed. In the strategic plan, NIAID stated it will accelerate its efforts for developing a universal influenza vaccine by supporting a consortium of scientists focused on addressing obstacles that have limited progress toward this goal; that consortium is CIVICs.