March 2021

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

Duration: Mar 2021 - Dec 2025

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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.

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

Doel Aim

FluCov aims are threefold:

  1. to document and communicate about the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on influenza activity
  2. to document and communicate about measures to prevent and control influenza in the coming years (e.g. by vaccination)
  3. to model future epidemic scenarios, with a focus on influenza activity

Producten en dienstenProject design

The research project consists of four components:

  1. establish a procedure to access and publish routine influenza (FluNet data) and SARS-CoV-2 surveillance data
  2. implement a testing and laboratory practices survey of National Influenza Centres to assess how SARS-CoV-2 has impacted influenza surveillance capacity
  3. collect influenza vaccination coverage rates in the selected countries (by risk group)
  4. In collaboration with colleagues at EHESP, develop and apply a modelling strategy to produce scenarios on the possible resurgence of influenza activity in the coming years


We share our research and findings by providing access to the FluCov Bulletins, posters, and survey results:

  1. A dashboard which allows visitors to query the influenza and Sars-Cov-2 data themselves
  2. Regular publications:
    • the FluCov Bulletins of the epidemiological assessment on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on influenza activity
    • influenza activity reports: weekly short publication of influenza activity in the Northern Hemisphere
  3. Scientific publications:
    • an abstract regarding the epidemiological impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on influenza activity, which was submitted to ESCAIDE (European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology) in November 2021
    • two posters which were presented at Options XI: 1) the NIC survey results and 2) the modelling study/strategy (by EHESP)
    • letter to the editor: influenza vaccine coverage rate during the COVID-19 pandemic (Eurosurveillance)
    • short communication: modelling the susceptible population for the 2022/23 influenza season (Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses)
    • report: landscape analysis of modelling activities regarding the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on influenza activity
    • survey: among National Influenza Centers about the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on influenza surveillance (Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses)

Result 1: FluCov Dashboard, the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on influenza

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019 had a major impact on the global circulation of respiratory viruses, including influenza (see In order to understand the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on influenza activity worldwide, the FluCov Dashboard offers users a clear view of the current and past circulation of both viruses (since 2019), in a wide range of countries all over the world. Real-time weekly surveillance weekly data are downloaded and presented in the Dashboard.


Results 2 en 3: FluCov Bulletins, scientific publications, survey results, posters

FluCov Influenza Activity Reports - (weekly update), starting 22 Nov 2023
FluCov-Bulletins (monthly) starting in June 2021)
InFluNews (Newsletter Global Influenza Initiative GII)
  • FluCov NIC Survey, presented at OPTIONS XI, 26-29 September 2022
  • EU5 Modelling to produce influenza activity scenarios, presented at OPTIONS XI, 26-29 September 2022
  • FluCov EpiBulletin, presented at WHO-ISIRV conference "COVID-19, Influenza and RSV: Surveillance-Informed Prevention and Treatment, 19-21 October 2021
Scientific publications
  • GII-MENA-RAISE Survey – Results

Panels met patiënten, cliënten en burgersNivel project team

Participating Nivel researchers are:

SamenwerkingsverbandProject partners

Project partners are:

  • The Global Influenza Initiative (GII) 
  • École des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (EHESP)


    The research project is funded by Sanofi. The current research grant runs until 31 July 2023.

Meer wetenWant to know more?

For more information on this project, please feel free to get in touch with the Nivel expert(s) involved. You will find them on the right, together with the (future) Nivel deliverables (publications) and other relevant content.

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