The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), an international organization with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) of the Republic of Korea gathered ministers of health and global health and immunization leaders for Empowering local biomanufacturing: How to equip countries for current and future infectious disease outbreaks, a side event of the 76th World Health Assembly.
Sponsored by Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Sweden, and Thailand, this event brought together officials from governments and the public and private sectors to discuss needs and opportunities for a coordinated and highly skilled global biomanufacturing workforce and infrastructure.
Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI, said: “Increasing the global capacity to manufacture vaccines and other health products is a critical factor in ensuring countries are able to respond to outbreaks of endemic and emerging infectious diseases with equity and efficiency. In IVI’s first year with observer status at the World Health Assembly, we are proud to organize this side event with the Republic of Korea, an urgent and complementary conversation to our ongoing efforts to train a biomanufacturing workforce through the Global Training Hub for Biomanufacturing.”
Dr. Youngmee Jee, Commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, said: “Korea was designated as a global bio human resource training institution last year and is already conducting the educational program…I hope countries around the world are able to advance their ability to access vaccines equally.”
The Honorable Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister for Health of Ghana; Sir Jeremy Farrar, Chief Scientist of the WHO; and Olivia Wigzell, Director-General of Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare, gave high-level remarks to open the discussions.
The event continued with three sessions:
- Sharing the best practices of WHO member states and their strategies, where country representatives spoke on learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to build up local vaccine manufacturing capacity.
- HWANG Seung Hyun, Director General, Global Vaccine Hub, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea
- Tiago Rocca, Director of Strategic Partnerships and New Businesses, Instituto Bhutantan, Brazil
- Rabera Kenyanya, Kenya BioVax Institute, Kenya
- Dr. Yvan Butera, Minister of State, Ministry of Health, Rwanda
- Nakorn Premsri, Director, National Vaccine Institute, Thailand
- Global biomanufacturing capacity-building programs, where IVI and Korean industry partners discussed the operations and takeaways of the Global Training Hub for Biomanufacturing program.
- Manki Song, Deputy Director General of Science, IVI
- LEE Jin Woo, K-NIBRT
- CHA Sang Hoon, Chairman, K-BIO Health
- Gaps and challenges for global biomanufacturing capacity-building and fostering opportunities with better international cooperation mechanisms, a panel discussion moderated by IVI and featuring leaders from CEPI and the WHO.
- Jerome Kim, Director General, IVI
- William Ampofo, Chairman, African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative
- Frederik Kristensen, Deputy CEO, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
- Rogério Gaspar, Director, Regulation and Prequalification, WHO
Empowering local biomanufacturing: How to equip countries for current and future infectious disease outbreaks took place on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva.
About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a non-profit international organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health.
IVI’s current portfolio includes vaccines at all stages of pre-clinical and clinical development for infectious diseases that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries, such as cholera, typhoid, chikungunya, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, hepatitis E, HPV, COVID-19, and more. IVI developed the world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine, pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO), and developed a new-generation typhoid conjugate vaccine that is currently under assessment for WHO PQ.
IVI is headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea with a Europe Regional Office in Sweden and Collaborating Centers in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. 39 countries and the WHO are members of IVI, and the governments of the Republic of Korea, Sweden, India, and Finland provide state funding. For more information, please visit https://www.ivi.int.
About the Global Training Hub for Biomanufacturing (GTH-B)
The COVID-19 pandemic tragically demonstrated that the international community is only safe when everyone is safe. Vaccines were a primary line of defense against COVID-19, helping some, but not all, countries overcome and build back from the pandemic. A grave imbalance of vaccine access and equity halted global recovery.
To secure vaccines and better prepare for current and future outbreaks, low- and middle-income countries around the world have seriously taken into consideration the need to build local vaccine manufacturing capacity. To meet this need, a critical resource gap is the availability of skilled, trained personnel in this highly technologically demanding field. To support these countries, the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) established “Global Bio Manufacturing Workforce Training” with support from the WHO, including WHO Academy.
IVI administers training courses through this global program, the first of its kind supported by the Government of Korea, to provide essential, practical knowledge designed to strengthen professional capacity in all aspects of biomanufacturing.