Project
Start
March 2021

FluCov: Influenza-COVID-19, understanding and communicating the impact of COVID-19 on influenza activity, 2021 - ongoing

Duration: Mar 2021 - Dec 2022

Rationale
On 1 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) requested information on a reported cluster of atypical pneumonia cases in Wuhan from the Chinese authorities. On 1 March 2020, WHO made the assessment that SARS-CoV-2 could be characterized as a pandemic. The emergence of this new virus has had a major impact on the global circulation of respiratory viruses, including influenza and RSV.

Aim
The aim of the research project is to document and communicate about:
- the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on influenza activity
- the measures to prevent and control influenza in the coming years (e.g. by vaccination).

Participating countries
A number of 21 contextual and geographical representative countries have been selected:
- America (4): Brazil, Canada, Mexico, USA
- Europe (8): France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom
- South Asia (4): India, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
- Pacific (5): Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan

Project design
The research project consists of three components:
- establish a procedure to access and publish routine influenza (FluNet data) and SARS-CoV-2 surveillance data
- implement a testing and laboratory practices survey of National Influenza Centres to assess how SARS-CoV-2 has impacted influenza surveillance capacity
- collect influenza vaccination coverage rates in the selected countries (by risk group)

Results
We share our research and its results in providing access to the bulletins, news letters, posters, and survey results on the subject. The results of this reseach project are :
- monthly publication of  the FluCov epidemiological bulletin (Epi-Bulletin): an epidemiological assessment of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on influenza activity
- an abstract regarding the epidemiological impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on influenza activity, which we submit to ESCAIDE (European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology) in November 2021
- a scientific publication on the epidemiological assessment of the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the surveillance data (survey results) and influenza activity

Deliverables
Go to: https://www.nivel.nl/en/nivel-zorgregistraties-eerste-lijn/project-flucov-2021-2022, for:
- FluCov Epi-Bulletins (monthly, starting in June 2021)
- InFluNews (Newsletters Golbal Infuenza Initiative GII)
- Posters
- Presentations
- Reports
Funding
Sanofi Pasteur
Project partners
The Global Influenza Initiative (GII) consists of the Middle East, Eurasia and Africa Influenza Stakeholders Network (MENA); Raise Awareness of Influenza Strategies in Europe (RAISE); Pan-European Committee on Influenza