Dr David Kaslow, Chief Scientific Officer of PATH and speaker at the World Vaccine Congress 2022, suggested the successful deployment of vaccines against future pandemics relied on leaders developing a better system for vaccinating people.
“It’s deplorable that at the start of the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic we were at 40%, 50%, 60% vaccine coverage in high-income settings yet still at single-digit percent coverage in low-resource settings. That is not global equity nor global access and coverage. So, we need to figure out what went wrong and how we can do much better.”
He cited the importance of years of research and vaccine technology advances but admitted this does us no good if the vaccines remain “sitting on a tarmac or in a warehouse”.
“All this amazing science has no impact unless there’s some way and someone to deliver that vaccine. Healthcare workers and systems are critical in turning all that amazing technology into amazing protective interventions.”
He believes that it is “foolhardy to think we can go from zero doses administered one day and the next day we will have hundreds of millions of vaccine doses in the arms of the U.S. population, not to mention the billions needed globally.” He called on global leaders to develop strategies for the inevitable next health crisis.
“We need to learn as much as we can from the current pandemic to prevent another huge setback of trillions of dollars in the global economy and the misery caused by hundreds of millions of disrupted lives and millions of preventable deaths. Because no matter what you may wish, the next pandemic will affect you, your family, your community, your state, your country, the whole globe. We just have to be better prepared.”
To see Dr David Kaslow at the World Vaccine Congress in 2023 click here to get your tickets!