June 16, 2020, SEOUL, South Korea – The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) welcomed His Excellency Einar H. Jensen, Ambassador of Denmark to South Korea, to IVI’s headquarters today to discuss developments in COVID-19 research as well as the institute’s ongoing studies on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The delegation from the Danish Embassy, including the Health Counsellor, Innovation and Research Counsellor, and Health and Life Science Officer, initiated the meeting to gain insight on IVI’s active role in responding to the pandemic to share with their counterparts in Copenhagen and identify areas of potential collaboration.
IVI’s response to COVID-19 has been multifold, including preparations for South Korea’s first COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, developing several vaccine candidates with consortia of Korean and international partners, and collaborating with health institutions in Madagascar and Burkina Faso to conduct disease surveillance studies and fortify in-country capacity.
Prior to the pandemic, IVI and Denmark shared particular concern for a separate threat to global health security: the widespread phenomenon of AMR. With the emergence and spread of AMR particularly impacting the Asia Pacific region, IVI partnered with the Technical University of Denmark to improve the quality of AMR surveillance data in the region. With quality-assured data, countries will be able to develop more tailored strategies to respond to the growing number of drug-resistant infections. Denmark has initiated the International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions (ICARS), which is set in place to tackle antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries.
Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI, expressed his gratitude for the Danish Embassy’s continued interest in IVI’s mission to develop and deliver vaccines for global health, and looks forward to more opportunities for collaboration between IVI, ICARS and Danish research institutes.
H.E. Jensen recognized IVI’s unique role in ensuring health equity in the face of a global pandemic, and expressed his wishes for further collaboration between Denmark and IVI in accelerating a solution for COVID-19 and slowing down the spread of AMR.
IVI’s response to COVID-19
IVI’s COVID-19 activities include conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial of INOVIO’s COVID-19 DNA vaccine in South Korea in partnership with INOVIO and the Korea National Institute of Health; developing a DNA vaccine with a consortium of six organizations led by Genexine; collaborating with Canada’s VIDO-InterVac to investigate immune responses; and leading COVID-19 disease burden studies in Madagascar and Burkina Faso, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, as well as in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam with support from the German Federal Ministry of Health through re-directed project funding. Read more about IVI’s COVID-19 response here.
About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a nonprofit inter-governmental organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, IVI was the first international organization hosted by Korea. IVI has 35 signatory countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) on its treaty, including Korea, Sweden and India as state funders.
Our mandate is to make vaccines available and accessible for the world’s most vulnerable people. We focus on infectious diseases of global health importance such as cholera, typhoid, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, Group A Strep, Hepatitis A, HPV, TB, HIV, MERS, COVID-19, as well as antimicrobial resistance. For more information, please visit https://www.ivi.int
Aerie Em, Global Communications & Media Specialist
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