Early ReleaseMay 1, 2013 / 62(Early Release)
Editorial NoteGiven the number and severity of human H7N9 illnesses in China, CDC and its partners are taking steps to develop a H7N9 candidate vaccine virus. Past serologic studies evaluating immune response to H7 subtypes of influenza viruses have shown no existing cross-reactive antibodies in human sera. In addition, CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate efforts. In the United States, planning for H7N9 vaccine clinical trials is under way. Although no decision has been made to initiate an H7N9 vaccination program in the United States, CDC recommends that local authorities and preparedness programs take time to review and update their pandemic influenza vaccine preparedness plans because it could take several months to ready a vaccination program, if one becomes necessary. CDC also recommends that public health agencies review their overall pandemic influenza plans to identify operational gaps and to ensure administrative readiness for an influenza pandemic. Continued collaboration between the human and animal health sectors is essential to better understand the epidemiology and ecology of H7N9 infections among humans and animals and target control measures for preventing further transmission.