In 2009, a novel A(H1N1) influenza virus emerged with rapid human-to-human spread and caused the first pandemic of the 21st century. Although this pandemic was considered mild compared to the previous pandemics of the 20th century, there was still extensive disease and death. This virus replaced the previous A(H1N1) and continues to circulate today as a seasonal virus. It is well established that vaccines are the most effective method to alleviate the mortality and morbidity associated with influenza virus infections, but the 2009 A(H1N1) influenza pandemic, like all significant infectious disease outbreaks, presented its own unique set of problems with vaccine supply and demand. This manuscript describes the issues that confronted governments, international agencies and industries in developing a well-matched vaccine in 2009, and identifies the key improvements and remaining challenges facing the world as the next influenza pandemic inevitably approaches.
Keywords: A(H1N1)pdm09; influenza; influenza vaccine; pandemic; pandemic influenza vaccine; pandemic preparedness; pandemic vaccine; seasonal influenza vaccine.