18 Feb 2022
Today, CEPI, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research convened nine government officials and nine technical experts for a tabletop exercise and roundtable discussion on greatly accelerating the development and equitable availability of vaccines against future pandemic threats.
The virtual event, Every Day Counts: A Pandemic Vaccine Exercise, was hosted within the framework of the German G7 Presidency and as an official side event of the 2022 Munich Security Conference. The meeting was a closed-door event for government officials and technical advisors.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the global community can develop and authorize safe and effective vaccines in a record 326 days and radically accelerate the development of new vaccine technologies when significant research investments are made before a pathogen emerges. The next pandemic could be even deadlier than COVID-19 and could shake the foundation of our societies by posing a greater threat to lives and economies. Further shortening the vaccine development timeline – to as little as 100 days if the situation requires it – is a central tenet of the future global response to emerging viral threats.
The fictional tabletop exercise presented participants with difficult challenges associated with achieving the shared vision of safe, effective vaccines that are globally available in the shortest time frame possible. Immediately following the scenario presentation was a roundtable discussion on preparedness measures and associated policy decisions that provide the necessary conditions for achieving this vision in a future pandemic. Key themes of the event included improving equitable access to vaccines; ensuring sustainable, accessible, and appropriate financing; and building capacities now that could give the world a head start on vaccine development and manufacturing.
The event was a forum to examine what is at stake and what further discourse may be required to bring solutions to bear. The event contributes to the German G7 Presidency’s goal of leading the way in pandemic control and preparedness.