The exit strategy for COVID-19 is a vaccine. To stop this pandemic we may need to vaccinate a significant proportion of the entire global population of 7 billion people. Where are we up to with vaccine development? Who gets vaccinated? How to communicate the benefits of a novel, fast tracked vaccine when misinformation is already spreading.
Three leading experts will discuss the most promising vaccine candidates under development and the pathways to their use; what is needed to take a vaccine to low- and middle-income countries; and how do we achieve acceptance and community confidence in a new vaccine.
Professor Terry Nolan – AO FAHMS is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne Medical School. He held the Chair of Population Health and was Foundation Head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health between 2001 and January 2020. Professor Nolan leads VIRGo (the Vaccine and Immunisation Research Group), a collaboration between Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and the University of Melbourne. He was a member since the mid-1990s of the Australian Government’s advisory bodies on immunisation policy and practice, including the CMO’s Pandemic Vaccine Preparedness Committee, and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), and a member of the WHO peak advisory body on global vaccination policy, the Scientific Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE). His research has been predominantly in vaccine preventable disease, including epidemiologic studies and clinical trials of new vaccines, including for pandemic H5 and H1 influenza.
Professor Kim Mulholland – Group Leader, New Vaccines, MCRI. Prof Mulholland has studied vaccines for over 25 years, having conducted the first trial of Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine in the Gambia, and worked in the Vaccines department of WHO for 8 years assisting with the design and oversight of some of the first conjugate pneumococcal trials. He has established pneumococcal research programs in Fiji, Laos and Vietnam. Prof Mulholland leads the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded PneuCarriage Research Project, based at MCRI.
A/Professor Margie Danchin – Consultant paediatrician, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, and MCRI where she is Group Leader, Vaccine acceptance, Uptake and Policy. She has expertise in vaccine clinical trials, vaccine safety, social science and vaccine policy. Her research program is focused on improving vaccine confidence, demand and uptake of vaccines in different settings and populations.