Mr. Zhang Wenhong predicted earlier in a media interview that it is less and less possible that the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end. The prediction was made for the reasons that, on the one hand, the pandemic is still spreading globally, especially in India and other places where new variants of the coronavirus have been found, posing new challenges to global COVID-19 vaccine and pandemic prevention and control; on the other hand, local confirmed cases and asymptomatic cases emerged in some places of China recently, so that we have to remain cautious in pandemic prevention and control all the time.
Last year, Pujiang Innovation Forum held the first Global Health and Development Summit which linked international organizations, government departments, scientific research institutions, enterprises and other parties for cross-border dialogues to jointly explore how to build a global health governance system through science and technology cooperation. Over half a year later, although the specter of the pandemic is still haunting the world, COVID-19 vaccines are gradually approved for emergency use in various countries. The widespread vaccination of COVID-19 vaccines has become the vital weapon for humans to fight against the pandemic.
However, new propositions and challenges have followed. How to increase the speed and capacity of vaccine production? How to develop a sound and efficient vaccination plan? How to fairly distribute vaccines globally to end the pandemic? How will scientists address the challenges of new variants of the coronavirus?
2021 Pujiang Innovation Forum-Global Health and Development Summit will take "Vaccines and Global Health" as the theme, and continue to link multiple parties from all over the world for cross-border dialogues to explore and answer the above questions. The Summit is organized by Shanghai Center for Pujiang Innovation Forum and Shanghai Center of Biomedicine Development, and supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) in the Belt and Road Region.
01 Big names: Gao Fu, Zhang Wenhong, Wu Fan, etc. will give keynote speeches
In the prevention and control of the pandemic, we have taken a combination of measures including formulation of national and municipal prevention and control strategies, construction of public health system, R&D of vaccines and drugs, to build a healthy wall for people.
At the beginning of the outbreak last year, Gao Fu, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Foreign Academician of the National Academy of Sciences, USA and Director of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, was thrust into the spotlight. Faced with doubts, Gao Fu devoted himself to the coronavirus research and vaccine development.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Academician Gao Fu has conducted research on the invasion mechanism of influenza viruses, Ebola, MERS-CoV, Zika and other encapsulated viruses, clarified their molecular mechanisms, and developed antibodies, drugs and other antiviral methods, providing great support for the prevention and control of the outbreak of emerging infectious diseases.
On March 24 this year, the Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of the recombinant protein subunit vaccine (ZF2001) developed by the team of Academician Gao Fu and Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd. validated its safety and efficacy. Prior to this, on March 1 this year, the vaccine was approved and registered for use in Uzbekistan, which is the world's first COVID-19 recombinant protein vaccine approved for use.
Hailed as "Anti-pandemic Heroine", Wu Fan, Vice Dean of Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, Director of Shanghai Municipal Institute of Major Infectious Diseases and Biosafety, member of China-WHO Joint Mission on COVID-19, and member of the Expert Group of Shanghai Leading Group for the Prevention and Control of the COVID-19 Pandemic, took the lead in carrying out the epidemiological study of the COVID-19 pandemic in Shanghai. She has led the team on many occasions to conduct research and application while providing strong support for the improvement of the pandemic prevention and control and the public health system of Shanghai, with a focus on prominent issues, taking the needs of the frontline in pandemic prevention and control into consideration.
The "hardcore doctor" Zhang Wenhong, Director of Department of Infectious Diseases, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Group Leader of Shanghai COVID-19 Medical Treatment Specialist Group, and Director of Shanghai Key Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Biosafety Emergency Response, has also played a unique role in this urban governance practice. The Department of Infectious Diseases of Huashan Hospital led by him has ranked the top of China's infectious diseases discipline for nine consecutive years. Since 2003, he has experienced a variety of public health incidents such as SARS and avian influenza and also participated in the rescue work of the Wenchuan earthquake.
In this year's Global Health and Development Summit, Gao Fu, Wu Fan, Zhang Wenhong and Lynda Stuart, among others, will give keynote speeches on site. Moreover, Zhou Xiaonong, Researcher at National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jiang Biao, Researcher at Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Executive Director of Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies (SIAIS), ShanghaiTech University, Yuan Yuan, Representative of China and Head of Commercial and Business Development, PATH (USA) Shanghai Representative Office, and Yang Yue, Professor at School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tsinghua University, will give lectures on projects.
02 Dialogue: How to bridge the "vaccine gap" between countries?
According to Zhang Wenhong and other experts, the vaccination rate has to reach at least 75% to effectively control the pandemic and provide the herd immunity. Currently, the scarcity of vaccines is still a tense problem, with only 1.2 billion doses produced globally by the end of April this year, and the current production capacity of vaccines is far from reaching the 10-15 billion doses required to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
How to bridge the "vaccine gap" between countries and achieve global health co-governance through rapid R&D, large-scale production, and fair distribution of vaccines has become a global health issue of top priority.
On May 5 this year, the US government announced support for COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver. Up to now, more than 100 countries have backed the proposal of "COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver", making it possible to accelerate the global production and supply of vaccines. On the other hand, the ongoing pandemic has made vaccines and the construction of a global health system a topic of global attention. In the process of fighting against COVID-19 and crises, we have been deeply aware of the shared destiny of mankind.
No country can be an exception in face of a variety of complex risks. What are the differences of prevention and control strategies of different countries in the effectiveness of reducing risks? What basic standards should be adopted in the exchange of persons and goods? These are all practical issues that need to be discussed and studied among all countries. For large-scale public health emergencies, we can only properly address the difficulties and challenges we face through full communication and coordination, joint construction of a prevention and mitigation mechanism for major risks, and improvement of the global health governance system.
At this session of Global Health and Development Summit, Li Xin, Deputy Director of the Department of Foreign Expert Services, Ministry of Science and Technology, Feng Yong, Health Counselor of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland, Yang Jinbo, Director of the Yangtze River Delta Branch, Center for Drug Evaluation, NMPA, Wu Yifang, Chairman and CEO of Fosun Pharma, Li Hangwen, Chairman and Founder of Stemirna Therapeutics, Dong Jian, CEO of WuXi Vaccines and other experts will come to the site to discuss the above issues in the form of interactive dialogue. The dialogue session will be hosted by Xu Fujie, Deputy Director of China Country Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Let's wait and see the collision of ideas of these experts regarding vaccines, COVID-19 and other top health issues in the world.