08:00 to 20:30
Stopping the next global pandemic with vaccines
Meeting point: P&R Vennes
Number of participants: 20
Registration fee: CHF 17 (includes transport and lunch)
Details: Participants need to bring a valid ID
Organizer and sponsor: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
NOTE: Start and end times given for field trips are the times when the trips depart from and return to P&R, Vennes
Despite huge progress in medical science in the century since Spanish flu, one of the
deadliest disease outbreaks in history, we remain acutely vulnerable to pandemics. Formidable global trends such as population growth, migration, urbanisation and climate change are combining to increase the risk of outbreaks. In 2018 alone, Ebola spread in DRC, cholera across Yemen, diphtheria outbreaks were reported in Indonesia and Bangladesh. Congo and Nigeria saw serious yellow fever outbreaks.
As more and more diseases spread, our traditional defenses – vaccines and medical treatment – may not be sufficient to keep such outbreaks at bay. Anti-microbial resistance means we cannot rely on antibiotics. Moreover, anti-vaccine sentiment is putting at risk some of the recent achievements in disease control. Measles may once again become common in places previously measles-free, as fewer children are being vaccinated.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is helping the poorest countries in the world to build the health systems that can protect population against those diseases, as well as funding global stockpiles for cholera, yellow fever and meningitis. An agreement with Merck has also ensured 300,000 doses of experimental Ebola vaccine are available for emergency use in case of an outbreak. This vaccine exists thanks to Gavi’s Advance Purchase Commitment, or APC, for the Ebola vaccine which was set up to address a simple market failure.
This trip will help science journalists better understand how vaccines are integrated in the response actions in disease outbreaks as well as the challenges linked to delivering vaccines, reaching children and monitoring vaccine hesitancy sentiment. They will meet with Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi the Vaccine Alliance & Gavi partners relevant to these topics.
To wrap up the day, participants to the different Geneva field trips are conveyed to a closing cocktail party at Campus Biotech.