Developing Countries and COVID-19 Vaccine-Readiness - Webinar

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Many developing countries are at risk of being left behind when it comes to purchasing and effectively distributing COVID-19 vaccines. This panel discussion explores possible national and global level responses.

Event Information

Open to all


Developing Countries and COVID-19 Vaccine-Readiness






Julia Kreienkamp

Date & Time

19 January 2021 | 05:00 PM in London

Click here to book now


Humanity’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic has reached a new level with the impending entry into the market of at least three effective vaccines. In a rapidly evolving scientific and medical push-back against the pandemic, as of 11 December 2020, regulatory approval had been granted in the UK, Bahrain and Canada for one of the vaccines (BNT162b2 by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and Germany biotech BioNTech), while the US FDA had recommended the vaccine for approval. Phase 3 data on safety and efficacy shows that two other vaccine candidates (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 by pharma company AstraZeneca and University of Oxford & mRNA-1273 by US biotech company Moderna in collaboration with the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases) could be ready for approval soon too. China and Russia have also announced approval of effective vaccines from their research and trials.

As all this is happening, extensive discussions have already started on distribution and administration logistics for the vaccines. The logistical challenges are huge even for advanced countries with strong health and ancillary systems, and the anticipation is that it will indeed be herculean for low and middle income countries (LMICs). There is still of course the big question of how much of the vaccines will be available to go round, and where developing countries figure in the queue of the countries that have made advance purchases of the vaccines. Within and beyond that question, there are deeper questions on how the distribution and administration will be done, thinking about the potentially large numbers that need to be vaccinated and the requirement for delicate cold chains in the delivery pathways.
How will low-and-middle-income countries respond? Is there an opportunity for leapfrogging into readiness, technologically, infrastructurally and in governance mechanisms? This webinar will bring together academics, supply chain experts, the pharma industry, regulators, patient groups and other to explore the facts around these questions and more which are pertinent in global and national efforts to suppress the virus.

Panel members

  • Dr Skhumbuzo Ngozwana – CEO at Kiara Health, South Africa, Medical practitioner and pharmaceutical industry expert
  • Dr Lenias Hwenda – Health entrepreneur. Founder and CEO of Medicines for Africa, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Dr Feras Al Hawari – Medical Practitioner and Chief, Cancer Control Officer, & Chief, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care, King Hussein Cancer Care (KHCC) Foundation, Jordan

This conversation is hosted by Julius Mugwagwa, Associate Professor in Innovation & Development at UCL and Thematic Director of Global Health at the UCL Global Governance Institute (