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‘To enhance confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, it is essential that the public is reassured that systems are in place for identification of any hitherto unrecognised vaccine side effects even if these are likely to be extremely rare. This initiative offers an opportunity to support such programs across multiple countries.’
- Shabir Madhi, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, WITS University. Co-Director.
‘Personally, I am most excited to bring a greater focus on the vaccine landscape in Africa and in doing so demonstrate the impact that improving vaccine uptake and rollout will have on the course of the pandemic.’
- Oliver Watson, Schmidt Science Fellow, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College, London
‘We are not safe until we are all safe. VacSafe works to help Africa and all of us.'
- David Benello, Chairman, Sirti S.A and V-Nova Ltd.p
‘Having effective vaccine safety surveillance systems is a heavy lift worldwide, especially in Africa, but it can be done if we focus, get the right partners, and work at it.’
- Wilmot James Center for Pandemic Research, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP). Convenor.
‘The WHO has recognized vaccine hesitancy as one of the top threats to global health. The VacSafe Working Group provides the opportunity to work with an exceptional cadre of international experts to explore innovative, large scale approaches to addressing the problem. I am honored to be a member of such a remarkable group with such a critical mission.’
- Lawrence Stanberry, Associate Dean, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Co-Director.
This week, in a range of stimulating and informative presentations [the full programme is here], scientists covered topics ranging from current concerns about the uptake of childhood vaccinations for diseases other than Covid, to vaccine hesitancy and how to identify and overcome the practical barriers to vaccine uptake.
Countries need to develop strategies to re-establish routine childhood vaccination programmes and develop catch-up programmes for those children who have missed their routine childhood vaccines.
Proper data on what vaccines do is crucial in fighting vaccine reluctance as well.