IPI’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, moderated a roundtable discussion hosted by the United Nations General Assembly entitled “Gaps and Challenges” as part of the “Galvanizing Momentum for Universal Vaccination” event series. This roundtable, which took place on February 25th, served to highlight and review existing challenges in vaccine production and distribution such as optimizing quality, improving absorption capacity and delivery rates in low-coverage countries, and ensuring supply predictability. In the midst of the pandemic, this discussion provided a critical platform to examine the pace and reach of COVID-19 vaccinations, which have been described as “uneven, unfair, and unbalanced.”
Although the main focus of this roundtable was to discuss strategies in which to ensure vaccine access across the world, it was also a critical day in the world of peace and security, with the recent news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In solidarity with those being impacted by this conflict, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein gave a brief reflection on the events of the past few days, and asked the participants to join him in a moment of silence for Ukrainians and all those who suffer from violence.
Panelists included Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organisation; Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance; Dr. Nicole Lurie, Director of CEPI-US and Strategic Advisor to the CEO at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI); Dr. Tonya Villafana, Vice President, Global Franchise Head, Vaccine & Immune Therapies at AstraZeneca; Mr. Kirill A. Dmitriev, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF); and Dr. Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, Co-Director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Click here for more information regarding the event.