Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska



Date of this Version

December 2005


Published by the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, 2005.


In the spring of 2005, gaps existed in the first Health and Human Services (HHS) Influenza Pandemic Plan and more guidance was considered desirable on how best to allocate the relatively meager supplies of vaccine likely to be available in the first months of a pandemic. To whom should it be given? To achieve what objectives?

This report describes the convening of a representative group of stakeholders and citizens-at-large, the structure and process of stakeholder and citizen dialogues and deliberations, and the decisions made and recommendations that were developed.

This Public Engagement Pilot Project on Pandemic Influenza (PEPPPI) was initiated in July 2005 to discuss and rank goals for a pandemic influenza vaccination program and to pilot test a new model for engaging citizens on vaccine related policy decisions (The Vaccine Policy Analysis CollaborativE, VPACE). The Pilot Project was sponsored by a network of interested organizations listed on the cover of this report. To conduct this public consultation, the sponsors engaged stakeholders from various organizations with an interest in pandemic influenza (the National Stakeholder Group), and individual citizens-at-large from the four principal regions of the United States. The anticipated major benefits from this public consultation were the development of an improved plan to combat pandemic influenza and one more likely to gain public support, and a demonstration that citizens can be productively engaged in informing vaccine related policy decisions.

This Pilot Project provides “proof of principle” to the vaccine community that a diverse group of stakeholders and citizens-at-large can be recruited to learn about a technical subject, interact respectfully, and reach a productive outcome on an important policy question. Preliminary results from the independent evaluation of all the sessions conducted by the University of Nebraska reaffirmed this conclusion. Furthermore, the corroboration of the results of the deliberations from the four sessions involving the general public in disparate regions of the country, as well as with the National Stakeholder Group meeting in Washington D.C., gives additional weight to the recommendations. Recognition of the importance and utility of these findings was made evident in the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan released in early November 2005 which described the agency’s consideration of the priorities that emerged from the PEPPPI project. More public discussion of a similar type was called for in the HHS plan.

Participating Organizations: Atlanta Journal Constitution; Institute of Medicine; Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health; Massachusetts Health and Human Services; National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Vaccine Program Office in the Department of Health and Human Services; Nebraska Health and Human Services; Oregon Department of Human Services; Practicum Limited; Richard Lounsbery Foundation; Study Circles Resource Center; The Keystone Center; University of Georgia; and University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

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