Upcoming VacSafe Working Group Meeting:
Virtual Meeting of Combined VacSafe and VacTask Working Groups
2 December 2022 9-10:30 AM ET (New York)
Making Malaria History
Imagine a malaria vaccine with a >95% efficacy and that provides lifelong cross-strain protection in one shot. What breakthroughs do we need to achieve this?
Dr. Faith Osier will discuss the current status of malaria vaccines and the critical barriers that need to be overcome to make malaria history in our lifetimes.
A staggering 200,000,000 Africans suffer malaria each year.
Speaker: Dr. Faith Osier
Faith Osier trained as a paediatrician in Kenya, specialized in immunology in Liverpool, and obtained a PhD from the Open University in the UK. She is Chair of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology in the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College London where she also serves as the Co-Director of the Institute of Infection. She previously led two cross-continental research teams in Kenya and Germany with a vision to ‘Make Malaria History’ through vaccination. Her work focuses on vaccine candidate discovery, the identification of correlates of protection and the mechanisms that underpin protective immunity. She also aims to inspire and support the next generation of African Scientists to provide the solutions that the continent urgently needs. Her work has led to international honors and prizes, including the Royal Society Pfizer Prize, the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, and an UKRI African Research Leader Award. She is a TED Fellow, an EDCTP Senior Fellow and an official #TOGETHERBAND Ambassador for the United Nations Global Goal 3. Faith is the current President of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).
Previous VacSafe Working Group Meetings:
On 29 April 2021, members of the Columbia-WITS-Schmidt Futures Vaccine Safety and Confidence-Building Working Group (VacSafe WG) held an inaugural meeting to discuss the working group’s overall purpose and goals. The meeting was divided into three sections with presentations and discussions focusing on (1) Goals of the Vaccine Safety and Confidence Building Program and an Overview of Current Vaccine Safety and Confidence-Building Efforts; (2) Collecting and Validating Vaccine Safety and Confidence Data; and (3) Utilizing the Collected Data.
On 27 May 2021, the VacSafe WG held its second meeting to discuss post-market surveillance strategies for vaccine safety and best practices for data collection and communication with the public. The purpose of these discussions was to identify the qualities a vaccine safety monitoring program and communication mechanism should possess.
On 24 June 2021, the VacSafe WG met to determine the next steps for developing pilot projects in South Africa and Zimbabwe. During the meeting, working group members explored potential financial and technological partnerships for both the pilot and future projects. The WG also discussed the human resources and infrastructure required to establish and maintain a post-market vaccine monitoring program as a permanent component of epidemic/pandemic responses.
The VacSafe Working Group met on September 30, 2021 with invited guests Rasmus Bech Hansen and Gabrielle Pickavance of Airfinity. Our guests presented on the global COVID-19 landscape. The group then discussed the Vaccine Information Network (VIN) pilot projects funded by Schmidt Futures and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The VacSafe Working group met on November 4, 2021 with invited guest Professor Sir John Bell, GBE, FRS, the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.. Sir John gave an overview of the Global Health Security Consortium (GHSC). The group then discussed both the GHSC and VIN pilot project updates.
The VacSafe Working Group met on February 22, 2022 with invited guest speaker David K. Robinson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Robinson, Deputy Director for CMC Vaccines Development and Surveillance, gave a presentation on COVID-19 and mRNA vaccine manufacturing. The VacSafe WG discussed both this topic and the ongoing VIN pilot projects.
The Vaccine Safety and Confidence Building Working Group met in April 2022 to discuss a high-level overview of the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, led by WG member Dr. Oliver J. Watson (Imperial College). The group also discussed updates and preliminary data from the VIN pilot projects in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The VacSafe WG met in May 2022 and began to expand the geographic scope of work and discussion to Latin America in addition to Africa. The WG invited guests Dr. Natalia Pasternak Taschner and Paulo Almeida (both of the Instituto Questão de Ciência and visiting Columbia University) to discuss HPV vaccine uptake in Brazil and the VIN vaccine uptake methodology.