Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The initial Flu Watch cohort, funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), began in 2006 as a collaboration between epidemiologists at the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology at University College London (UCL), virologists and mathematical modellers from the Health Protection Agency (HPA, now Public Health England), immunologists at the MRC Human Immunology Unit at Oxford University and the MRC General Practice Research Framework (GPRF). It aimed to estimate community burden of influenza and influenza-like illness, generate up-to-date knowledge of demographic, social and behavioural factors affecting influenza transmission, measure antibody and T cell immune responses to influenza and to use knowledge generated to inform modelling parameters. In addition, a pandemic preparedness cohort was envisioned, in which participants already familiar with the study consented to be re-contacted in the event of a pandemic, to allow rapid redeployment of the study.
Conflict of interest: J.S.N.-V.-T. reports grants from GlaxoSmithKline, grants from F. Hoffmann-La Roche, and non-financial support (travel grant to give plenary lecture) from European Scientific Working Group of Influenza, outside the submitted work; and over one decade ago, J.S.N.-V.-T. was employed by SmithKline Beecham (now a part of GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturer of zanamivir and influenza vaccines) from 2000 to 2001, and by Roche Products Ltd (manufacturer of oseltamivir) from 2001 to 2002. He has held no shares, share options or pension rights in either company since 2004. He performed paid consultancy for both companies and several other influenza vaccine manufacturers in the period 2008 to 2010 (all of these lying outside the ICJME 36-month official window of declaration but declared here for completeness). J.S.N.-V.-T.’s brother was an employee of GlaxoSmithKline until August 2015, but did not work in an influenza-related field at any juncture. W.J.E.’s partner is employed as an epidemiologist forGlaxoSmithKline. A.M.J. has been a Governor of the Wellcome Trust since 2011. A.C.H., W.J.E., J.S.N.-V.-T., J.M.W. and M.Z. have served on UK national advisory committees relevant to planning and response for seasonal and pandemic influenza. Authors not specifically mentioned declare that they have no competing interests.
This work is supported by awards establishing the Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research, London, from the MRC, in partnership with Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the National Institute of Health Research, the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (Welsh Assembly Government), the Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government Health Directorates) and the Wellcome Trust (MR/K006584/1). O.D. is supported by a National Institute for Health Research Methods fellowship. M.S.C.L. was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship. Funding was also provided by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust (grant numbers: G0600511, G0800767 and MC_U122785833). The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health