Oktober 24, 2021

11:00 am - 12:30 pm


Dear All,

You are cordially invited to a panel discussion on Pandemic Preparedness at this year’s World Health Summit (WHS), organized by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), the Immunology and Inflammation Initiative (I&I) and the Corona Virus Pathology Network (CoViPa), both of the Helmholtz Association.


Florian Klein
University of Cologne | Institute of Virology | Director | Germany

Rino Rappuoli
GlaxoSmithKline | Chief Scientist and Head External R&D | Italy

Robin Shattock
Imperial College London | Department of Infectious Diseases |
Director of the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub | UK

Nancy Sullivan
National Institutes of Health | NIAID | Vaccine Research Center |
Senior Investigator & Chief of Biodefense Research Section | USA

Annelies Wilder-Smith
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine | Professor of Emerging
Infectious Diseases | WHO Consultant COVID-19 Vaccines | UK


Michela Di Virgilio
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) | Group Leader |
Immunology & Inflammation (I&I) Initiative | Co-Speaker | Germany

Ralf Bartenschlager
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) | Department of Molecular Virology |
Head of Department | Germany


Vaccines are the major cornerstone to control pandemics. This has been demonstrated in the past for instance by the eradication of poxvirus or the global control of poliomyelitis. Given the long history of vaccines, established pipelines for their development and production have been developed. The still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has enriched this pipeline and although SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have been developed and approved within less than a year, this major achievement built on decades of basic research. Equally important was the massive financial support, accelerated administrative procedures and rapid increase in production capacity. Yet, important challenges remain such as the global distribution of vaccines and insufficient vaccination rates in countries where these vaccines are available.

Another challenge is to increase our preparedness for possible future pandemics. How can we deal with future pandemics more effectively and could we even contain initial outbreaks? One approach might be the development of prototype vaccines, but how efficient can these be? Can we exploit our experience from the COVID-19 pandemic and develop novel vaccine platforms allowing even faster vaccine development and clinical approval? Obviously, the investment into such vaccine approaches and required infrastructure will be associated with high costs. In this session, we want to discuss the ongoing work in this exciting area, learn about its feasibility and understand its potential impact on global health care.

WHEN October 24, 11am-12:30pm CET

WHERE This is a virtual event, free of charge and without registration.
Join via this link at the time of the event.