The tail of the COVID-19 pandemic will extend for years to come, threating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 variants may spread, particularly where vaccinations have reached last. The manufacturers that sped the first generation of vaccines have not promised either affordable prices after the pandemic has subsided in rich countries nor continued efforts to develop more effective vaccines adapted to these emerging variants that might be localized to these pockets of resurgent disease. So a sustainable, resilient recovery will require an effective way of boosting local or regional production of the health technologies, from face masks to vaccines, needed to respond to the challenge.
Moderated by Dr. Carlos Correa of the South Centre, this panel will discuss what it will take to ensure that regional innovation hubs and local producers pick up where first-generation vaccine manufacturers might leave off. Expert panelists will include representatives from academia, government, civil society and industry from various geographical regions will offer important stakeholder perspectives on opportunities to expand local production and harness regional pooled procurement, the challenges ahead and how they might be met. As part of this panel, John Hopkins Prof. Anthony So will introduce the policy context, pathways forward, and potential proposals. What lessons might inform the way forward? How might this capacity also address the shortages and stockouts seen of other health commodities to tackle emerging infectious diseases, such as life-saving antibiotics?
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