Like most emerging disease threats, avian influenza is a zoonotic disease maintained in nature by wildlife. In this case, the reservoir of infection is migratory waterfowl, primarily ducks. Rather than trying to vaccinate most of the world's human population in response to the threat of an avian influenza pandemic, it might be more prudent to vaccinate key reservoir wildlife species from which pandemic strains evolve. This strategy would require a much more intensive research effort to understand the evolution of avian influenza viruses in nature, but it would be far less costly than any of the alternatives. Research priorities for emerging zoonoses, such as new strains of avian influenza viruses, should be re-evaluated with an emphasis on ways to intervene at their source, the natural reservoir hosts from which they originate, rather than focusing up on human-based interventions, which are too often too late.
Fish, D. (2005). What about the ducks? An alternative vaccination strategy. In Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (Vol. 78, pp. 297–304).