Zika virus R&D Roadmap is available for public comment

The World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), and an expert team of taskforce members from around the world have developed a draft Zika virus (ZIKV) Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap. The purpose of the roadmap is to accelerate the development and implementation of effective medical countermeasures for ZIKV aimed at reducing morbidity, mortality, and transmission. The roadmap is a key component of the WHO’s R&D Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics, a global strategy and preparedness plan that allows the activation of R&D activities in advance of and during epidemics.

Today we launch the roadmap public comment period. We hope you will take the time to review the roadmap and help spread the word about this important opportunity. Additional details can be found below, including details for sharing information about the public comment period on social media platforms if you would like. Please also feel free to forward this email to anyone who might be interested.

Primary audiences for the roadmap include researchers, funders, policymakers, industry leaders, regulators, and communications/advocacy specialists. Community engagement with the development of the roadmap is critical for success. Please help spread the news about the public comment opportunity!

ZIKV R&D Roadmap public comment period details

·       Public Comment Website: https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/zika-virus-(zikv)-research-and-development-(r-d)-roadmap—call-for-comments

·       Public Comment Timeline:

o   Public comment period starts February 26

o   Feedback is due by March 26

·       The process for submitting comments is detailed below.

Social media toolkit for sharing information online

·       ZIKV Roadmap Hashtag: #ZikaRDRoadmap

·       Public Comment Website: https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/zika-virus-(zikv)-research-and-development-(r-d)-roadmap—call-for-comments

·       News story on the roadmap: https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2021/02/zika-roadmap-outlines-steps-toward-diagnostics-treatment-vaccines

·       Example social media posts (for those interested in sharing information on social media platforms; these serve as examples and may be personalized):

o   Twitter example:

§  Be part of the future of #Zika diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Add you voice to the #ZikaRDRoadmap. Public comment is open until March 26. https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/zika-virus-(zikv)-research-and-development-(r-d)-roadmap—call-for-comments

o   Facebook and LinkedIn example:

§  Preparing for the next Zika virus outbreak relies on improved diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. To meet this need WHO and international experts have developed a Zika Virus R&D Roadmap. The draft roadmap is now available for public comment until March 26.



How to review and comment on the draft roadmap

1.     Submit comments on the draft roadmap using this online form.

2.     The online form has three sections:

a.     Section 1: Your contact information. This is to document participation in the review process and to enable us to reach you if we need clarification on your comments.

b.     Section 2: General comments on the draft roadmap. There are 2 general questions (optional) about the draft roadmap. If you have no further comments, you can confirm that you have read the roadmap and have no additional feedback (you can complete the review by selecting “no” when prompted in this section).  section includes three optional overarching questions about the draft roadmap.

You will not be able to revise your responses to Section 1 or Section 2 once you move on to Section 3.

c.     Section 3: Section-specific review. You will have the opportunity to comment on each of the 5 topic-specific sections of the draft roadmap. A table of contents is available to facilitate your review of the topic-specific sections. You may select individual sections for comment.

3.     If you are commenting on a specific part of the roadmap please include the line number for reference.

4.     Please submit comments no later than Friday, March 26, 2021.

Thank you again for your support of this important project! If you have questions about the ZIKV R&D Roadmap or the public comment opportunity please direct them to Anje Mehr (mehr0035@umn.edu).