The number of coronavirus cases in the UK and Europe is surging again after a few months of relative calm, in a clear reminder that the global fight against the deadly outbreak has not yet ended. Governments and private-sector organisations across the globe are making enormous efforts to accelerate the development of and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. But concerns about inadequate international coordination remain, as recently warned by Boris Johnson during his pre-recorded speech to the UN General Assembly.
In this talk, Dr Osamu Kunii of the Global Fund will talk about current international efforts to end the pandemic, and the challenges they face. Then, Professor Stuart Blume will examine the specific challenges involved in developing and distributing an effective and affordable vaccine, at a time marked by growing ‘vaccine nationalism’.
Date: Wednesday 28 October 2020
UK Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm (GMT)
Japan Time: 9:00pm-10:00pm (GMT+9)
About the contributors
Dr Osamu Kunii is Head of Strategy, Investment & Impact Division, at the Global Fund. His distinguished career encompasses more than 25 years of experience in global health and development in over 110 countries around the world. He started his career by serving as clinician and humanitarian worker in emergencies through NGO, and then moved to public health in disaster epidemiology, infectious diseases control and health system, and to health development assistance policy making as Assistant Director in the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and health strategy development as Senior Health Strategy Advisor at UNICEF headquarter. He also served as Assistant Professor of International Health in the University of Tokyo and Professor of Global Health in the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University. He has extensive field experiences, especially living in India, Brazil, Myanmar and Kenya through NGO, Japan International Cooperation Agency and UNICEF. He obtained a medical degree from Jichi Medical School, a master of public health from Harvard School of Public Health, and a doctor of philosophy from the University of Tokyo.
Dr Stuart Blume is emeritus professor of science and technology studies at the University of Amsterdam and author of Immunization: How Vaccines Became Controversial. After an Oxford D.Phil in chemistry he moved into the fields of science policy and the sociology of science, working at the University of Sussex, the OECD in Paris, and in various British government departments, including the Cabinet Office (1975-77) and from 1977 to 1980 as Research Secretary of the committee on Social Inequalities in Health (the ‘Black Committee’). Since then his research has focused principally on the development and introduction of new health care technologies. He has been an advisor on Bioethics to the World Federation of the Deaf, and visiting researcher at the Universities of Oslo, Orebrö and Cuenca (Ecuador).