The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic struck researchers and health policy experts by surprise. While these individuals were monitoring the evolution of H5N1 in the Eastern hemisphere, the H1N1 pandemic, otherwise known as the swine flu pandemic, began in Mexico. A "universal influenza vaccine" has the potential to extend immunity to influenza beyond the typical protection period of one year and prepare for the unpredictable nature of influenza. Protecting the Herd explores the intersect of population influenza vaccination with a universal influenza vaccine and U.S. health policy. Based on positive results from mathematical modeling conducted for this project, Protecting the Herd advocates for health policy changes in order to improve influenza pandemic preparedness. Making recommendations to U.S. government organizations such as the CDC, HHS and FDA, Protecting the Herd encourages health policy experts to think more ambitiously about herd immunity-oriented policies in order to ultimately reduce morbidity and mortality caused by influenza.