NZ scientists win international flu contract

  • Tony Ryall
  • Wayne Mapp
Health Science and Innovation

Health Minister Tony Ryall and the Minister for Science and Innovation Dr Wayne Mapp, have congratulated ESR on their successful international bid for a 5-year, multi-million dollar flu research and surveillance project.

The project is paid for by the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is known as SHIVERS - the Southern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says, "The result will be greater knowledge about how the flu spreads, improved surveillance, and vaccination targets. And we will be helping the northern hemisphere plan for their flu season.”

Dr Wayne Mapp says, "This successful bid is international recognition of the quality of the New Zealand scientists working in this area."

The project is led by ESR with collaboration from the Universities of Auckland and Otago, the Auckland District Health Board and the World Health Organization's Collaborating Centre at St Jude Children's Hospital in the United States.

Mr Ryall and Dr Mapp say, "We had a glimpse of just how good the New Zealand teams are during the response to the swine flu pandemic in 2009, and this is an opportunity to make even greater advances in flu planning."