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[Diplomatic circuit] IVI urges international cooperation on R&D, distribution of vaccines

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Oct 14, 2019 - 15:14
  • Updated : Oct 14, 2019 - 15:14

The International Vaccine Institute, an international organization based in Seoul, held a forum on its 22nd anniversary where the participants exchanged ideas on ways to boost global collaboration on research and development on vaccines and their delivery.

“I hope for greater cooperation among IVI members and non-IVI members to expedite research and development, and distribution of vaccines,” International Vaccine Institute Director General Jerome Kim said in his welcoming speech.

About 70 people took part in the forum Oct. 11 at the IVI headquarters in Seoul, including former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as 17 ambassadors and top diplomats in Seoul.

The forum also reviewed the results of global cooperation on the distribution of vaccines in developing countries.

“The role of vaccines is very important to achieve the third goal of the Sustainable Development Goals of good health and well-being. I urge you to participate in the development and distribution of vaccines that protect lives,” Ban said.

(From left) Ki-hwan Kweon, director general in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ international organizations bureau; Min-won Lee, director general of the Center for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention; Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute; and Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pose during a photo session at IVI State Forum 2019. (International Vaccine Institute)

The IVI is an independent international organization solely devoted to developing and introducing improved vaccines to protect disadvantaged people around the world, particularly children in developing countries.

Meanwhile, Teresa Soop, chief consultant of the Swedish development agency Sida, introduced Sweden’s efforts to advance research and development and improve world health, and the projects it has undertaken with KOICA funding to combat disease.

Sweden joined the IVI in 1997, when the institution was established, and since 2002 has supported its operational expenses along with other countries.

The IVI conducts research in more than 30 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines for enteric and diarrheal infections, Japanese encephalitis, MERS-CoV and dengue fever. Its vaccines are developed at its headquarters in Seoul. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)