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 that will work together in a coordinated, multidisciplinary effort to advance influenza vaccine science. The overarching goals of this program include:
NIAID will provide up to approximately $51 million in total first-year funding for the program, which is designed to support the CIVICs program centers over seven years.
CIVICs was created out of needs identified in the NIAID Universal Influenza Vaccine Strategic Plan, which was published in August 2018 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The goal for the universal vaccine is to provide long-lasting protection against multiple strains of the influenza virus, including strains with the potential to cause a pandemic. The effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine 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.