September 15, 2023, SEOUL, Republic of Korea — The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), an international organization with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health, concluded the 22nd edition of its annual International Vaccinology Course (IVC) today. A total of 90 trainees representing 33 different nationalities participated at the course’s flagship location at the Seoul National University campus in Korea in addition to a second site at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden.
This year’s course was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Moderna, Sanofi, Valneva, SK bioscience, Serum Institute of India, Hilleman Laboratories, and KI. Through their support, IVI awarded a Vaccinology Fellowship to 19 trainees demonstrating leadership potential in their home countries and institutions, enabling them to participate in the course in Seoul. Moreover, participants from India, the Philippines, and Thailand received scholarships through the core contributions to IVI provided by their respective governments, who are strong supporters of IVI’s mission and initiatives.
The five-day training course combined lectures and panel discussions featuring prominent experts across all aspects of vaccine science and implementation as well as interactive case studies, poster presentations, and site visits to vaccine manufacturing facilities in South Korea, including EuBiologics, Quratis, SK bioscience, and ST Pharm, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Sweden.
Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI, said: “The International Vaccinology Course is an annual IVI tradition of capacity- and network-building to advance knowledge, dialogue, and new findings across diverse topics in vaccinology. This year’s course emphasized lessons learned from COVID-19 and we hope the trainees came away with a keener sense of the fundamentals of vaccinology as well as larger themes of global health equity and sustainability that impact us all.”
Dr. Sushant Sahastrabuddhe, Acting Deputy Director General of Clinical, Assessment, Regulatory, and Evaluation at IVI and this year’s Course Director, said: “We congratulate this year’s class of vaccinologists for completing an intensive week of coursework across a range of subjects related to vaccines and their role and use in real-world settings, from basic immunology to vaccine hesitancy and the impact of climate change on infectious diseases. Thank you to our excellent faculty for sharing their research and insights, and to our partners at Karolinska Institutet for hosting the Swedish site of the course, allowing for a more expansive experience, representative of IVI’s multi-country presence.”
Prof. Anna Norrby-Teglund, KI–IVI Academic Coordinator, said: “At Karolinska Institutet, we are delighted to once again be able to host the Swedish node of IVI’s Vaccinology Course. We have been most impressed by the excellent presentations and the stimulating discussions.”
For the first time in the course’s history, this year’s IVC featured two panel discussions. In Seoul, Dr. Ruklanthi de Alwis (Associate Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School) chaired “Vaccinology taught by COVID-19—Lessons for the next pandemic” with speakers Dr. Petro Terblanche (CEO, Afrigen), Dr. Alain Bouckenooghe (Global Head R&D, Hilleman Laboratories), and Dr. Barney S. Graham (Professor, Morehouse School of Medicine).
In Stockholm, Dr. Anh Wartel (Deputy Director General, IVI’s Europe Regional Office) chaired “Building vaccine manufacturing capacity” with speakers Dr. Martin Friede (Vaccine research Unit Lead, WHO), Dr. Petro Terblanche, and Prof. William K. Ampofo (Chair, African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative).
This year’s course brought in faculty members from academic institutions such as KI, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School, and Seoul National University; international organizations and government agencies such as the World Health Organization, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative, and International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions; and from the private sector, including Hilleman Laboratories, Afrigen, Serum Institute of India, QuadMedicine, Vac4All, and Moderna.
Since its founding in 2000, the IVC has trained nearly 5,000 vaccine professionals across the globe and has certified an additional 1,100 participants through its online course while actively fostering collaborative partnerships in the fields of research and public health.
About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a non-profit international organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health.
IVI’s current portfolio includes vaccines at all stages of pre-clinical and clinical development for infectious diseases that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries, such as cholera, typhoid, chikungunya, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, hepatitis E, HPV, COVID-19, and more. IVI developed the world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine, pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO), and developed a new-generation typhoid conjugate vaccine that is currently under assessment for WHO PQ.
IVI is headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea with a Europe Regional Office in Sweden and Collaborating Centers in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. 39 countries and the WHO are members of IVI, and the governments of the Republic of Korea, Sweden, India, Finland, and Thailand provide state funding. For more information, please visit https://www.ivi.int.
Aerie Em, Global Communications & Advocacy Manager
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