Episode 7: Global Health Security Requires Pandemic Prevention feat. Dr. Keusch

Original article from Sabin Vaccine Institute

COVID-19 has cost the world millions of lives and trillions of dollars, and it will not be the last time we face such a threat. But there’s hope, say the diverse and influential experts featured in our seventh documentary episode: it’s within our power to prevent another devastating pandemic. Learn why we must not wait to invest in key pandemic preventions like universal influenza vaccines.

Preventing Pandemics is a Security Issue

This fall, as the ongoing pandemic tragedy continues to reveal the shortcomings of a disjointed response to infectious disease threats, a series of convenings of the global community offer crucial opportunities to correct the course of the global COVID-19 response and better prepare for future pandemics. In their speeches at the COVID-19 Summit, hosted by US President Joseph Biden on the margins of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), leaders of nations and international public health organizations described how the pandemic—true to longstanding expert predictions—has profoundly destabilized communities, nations, global regions, and the myriad social and economic connections among them.  All agreed that only a global effort can end COVID-19 and protect the world’s citizens, wherever they live, from the consequences of the next one.

In his address to the summit, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged adoption of a global vaccination plan aimed at accelerating COVID-19 vaccine production and expanding access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, which to date have received a meager share of the global supply. Righting this inequity, he insisted, is not a matter of philanthropy, but of self-interest. As the rise of the delta variant demonstrates, if a pandemic pathogen circulates anywhere, it can spread everywhere.