Vaccines: The road to immunity – The Agenda with Stephen Cole
It's virus versus vaccines – but who is winning? How will the new variants affect global progress in the fight against COVID-19? How concerned should we be about vaccine nationalism?
In this first of two specials, The Agenda's Stephen Cole discusses the headway and hurdles of the pandemic progress and the varying global strategies in the race to immunity.
To discuss vaccine nationalism and the risk it could pose to global progress is Siddhartha Datta, Regional Adviser for Europe at the World Health Organization's (WHO) vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization program, who admits that more must be done to ensure an equitable distribution of vaccines around the world and explains why collaboration is essential to give us the best chance of ending the pandemic.
Israel's health ministry is now offering coronavirus vaccines to anyone aged above 16, as the country continues to impress the world with its rapid vaccination campaign. To explain the decisions behind the country's 'need for speed' approach, Stephen Cole is joined by Nathan Jeffay,health correspondent for The Times of Israel,who says the country's health system has been a major factor in its pace.
China was the first to suffer the severe effects of the pandemic, but now the country has its first home grown vaccine approved for general use. Joining the conversation from Shanghai is Chen Jian, former adjunct professor of finance at Johns Hopkins University, who is working with the medical sector and producing a model for current COVID-19 forecasting.
And a warning that millions of doses could be spoiled during transportation has heated up the cold chain conversation. The WHO fears vaccine vulnerability in terms of temperature requirements could mean up to 50 percent of vaccines being spoiled during transport. Thermal stability researcher Asel Sartbaeva from the University of Bath joins Stephen Cole to discuss the problem this poses to the global inoculation effort and explains why her team believes silica could be the answer.