Special COVID-19 Series

Two-Panel Event: 
Vaccine Promises and Realities

August 26, 2020

10:00 am - 12:00 pm EST

Presented in collaboration with


With over 160 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates currently in development, human trials rapidly moving forward, and the whole world anxious to return to some level of “normalcy” this  is an opportune moment to consider where the world is regarding a vaccine to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. 

The science surrounding vaccine development is separate from challenges that must be overcome for effective administration of those vaccines. Those challenges may include:

  • Difficult decisions about the value of vaccines with limited efficacy and / or multiple doses
  • Limited supply with projected global need of 16 billion doses
  • Global distribution and supply chain capabilities
  • Public vaccine acceptance, especially of those vaccines in accelerated development 
  • Prioritization of populations to receive the vaccine, especially if those who are most vulnerable benefit least from the vaccine
  • Establishing a global framework to guarantee equitable and timely vaccine allocation to include low-and-middle-income countries
  • Ethical challenges in equitable distribution of vaccine within and across populations

PQMD and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have partnered to enable meaningful dialogue centered on these and other challenges in administration of a COVID vaccine and have invited top experts to participate in a two-panel event for a PQMD COVID-19 Pillar Talks on SARS-CoV-2:  Vaccine Promises and Realities on August 26, 2020 from 10AM-12PM.

Participants in Panel 1 are challenged to provide historical context for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and how those inform any challenges or opportunities in the development or distribution of this vaccine while  Panel 2 will involve high-level representatives of corporations engaged in SARS-COV-2 vaccine development, manufacturing, and distribution. 

Panel 1  10AM-10:55AM

  1. Arnaud Bernaert Head Of Health And Healthcare, Member Of The Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
  2. Sophie Mathewson, Specialist, Vaccine Policy & Investment, GAVI: The Vaccine Alliance
  3. Dawn O'Connell, USA Director, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
  4. Dr. Tolullah Oni, Clinical Senior Research Associate, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge

Panel 2 11:05AM-12PM

  1. Dr. Isabelle Deschamps, Head of Global Vaccines and Public Affairs, Sanofi Pasteur
  2. Prof. Raul Machado Neto, Director of Institutional Strategy, Instituto Butantan 
  3. Dr. Julia Spencer, Associate Vice President, Global Vaccines Public Policy, Partnerships, & Government Affairs at Merck 


PQMD is composed of leading healthcare companies and international NGOs working tirelessly to make an impact in global health every day.  The network enjoys historical and trusted relationships that continue to prove essential in global health work.   

Confirmed Panelists

Arnaud Bernaert Head Of Health And Healthcare, Member Of The Executive Committee, World Economic Forum  
An MBA graduate from HEC, Arnaud Bernaert dedicated his prolific career to strategy, partnerships, M&A and Healthcare policy matters. He also published extensively on those themes and received significant media coverage. This he has done first as a senior executive in multinational organizations such as Baxter and Philips Healthcare, then as the Global Head for Health and Healthcare Industries at the World Economic Forum.  Learn more about Arnaud.

Isabelle Deschamps, PhD., Head of Global Vaccines and Public Affairs, Sanofi Pasteur
Isabelle has been Head of Global Public Affairs at Sanofi Pasteur since June 2018. Isabelle began her career with Pasteur Mérieux Connaught's International Medical department more than 20 years ago. She subsequently held various positions in Regulatory Affairs in Asia-Pacific and other international regions where she worked closely with WHO for the prequalification of vaccines. Isabelle then moved to the field of Public Affairs to take over the liaison between Sanofi Pasteur and UNICEF & GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and to chair the Vaccines Policy Group of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), based in Geneva. Isabelle has also led the Sanofi Pasteur Public Affairs teams in Africa, the Middle East, Eurasia and South Asia, supporting the interface of countries with global health organizations and key national policy makers involved in the development of immunization policies. In 2016, her scope extended beyond vaccines and she led the Public Affairs activity for Eurasia and the Middle East for the entire Sanofi portfolio (Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Specialty Care, Rare Diseases, Consumer HealthCare and Vaccines). Isabelle holds a PhD in Biology (University of Burgundy, France).

Prof. Raul Machado Neto, Director of Institutional Strategy, Instituto Butantan 
Professor Raul Machado-Neto graduated in Agriculture from the University of São Paulo where he worked and concluded his academic trajectory as Full Professor of Animal Science in 2019. He obtained his PhD from the University of Illinois. Holds the position of Professor at Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture/University of São Paulo (ESALQ/USP) since 1974. His teaching and research activities have related to animal physiology with focus on cell integrity. He was awarded the Scientific Merit Medal by the State of São Paulo Governor in 2001. He has dedicated himself to numerous academic administrative roles at USP having been member of the University’s Board, Head of the Zoology Department, President of the Research Committee and Vice Dean at ESALQ/USP. He was also the Coordinator of the Interamerican Bank of Development Program ESALQ/USP, USP Coordinator of CNPq Scholarship for Undergraduate Research Students, President of USP Undergraduate Research Program and of USP Call Technology Academic Committee. Deputy Provost for Research for ten years, Prorector's Assistant of Graduate College Office and Research Office. Recently, he held the positions of USP Vice-President for International Relations, President of USP International Agency and is currently Director of Institutional Strategy at Butantan Institute in São Paulo, Brazil.  Learn more about Professor Machado Neto.

Sophie Mathewson, Specialist, Vaccine Policy & Investment, Gavi
Sophie Mathewson is a Specialist in the Gavi Policy team, with a focus on vaccines for epidemic preparedness and response and the vaccine pipeline. Before joining Gavi, she spent 5 years in different roles at the Wellcome Trust, most recently as Senior Policy Adviser, Vaccines. She previously worked at the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and was a trainee in the Infectious Diseases at the European Commission's Directorate for Research & Innovation. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 

Dawn O’Connell, Director of CEPI’s US Office
Dawn O’Connell is the Director of CEPI’s US Office.  She is responsible for managing the broad spectrum of CEPI’s US and North American interests including its relationships with US and North American-based stakeholders, government entities, and industry partners.  She also serves as the executive director for CEPI’s Joint Coordination Group—a roundtable of institutional partners who all have a vested interest in the successful development and deployment of epidemic vaccines. Prior to joining CEPI in June 2017, she was a Senior Counselor to Secretary Sylvia Burwell at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the Obama Administration. As the point-person in Secretary Burwell’s office for public health emergencies, O’Connell managed the Department’s response to the Zika virus, and previously, the response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014. In this role, she managed across multiple agencies, including CDC, FDA, NIH, and ASPR, as well as with other state, federal, and international partners.

Dr. Tolullah Oni, Clinical Senior Research Associate, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge
Tolullah Oni, is a Public Health Physician Scientist and urban epidemiologist.  Born in Lagos, she completed her medical training at University College London, a Masters degree in Public Health at the University of Cape Town and a doctorate in Epidemiology at Imperial College London, UK. She jointly leads the Global Diet and Activity Research Group at the University of Cambridge and is an Honorary Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Cape Town where she leads the Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE|Africa) generating new knowledge in partnership with policy and societal role players to address complex urban population health challenges. She is Principal of Oni et al. urban health practice and founder of UrbanBetter, applying science-based, equity-centred, youth-privileged, and Africa-led approaches to healthy, equitable and sustainable urban development.  Learn more about Dr. Oni.

Dr. Julia Spencer, Associate Vice President, Global Vaccines Public Policy, Partnerships, & Government Affairs at Merck 
In her role, Dr. Spencer leads global public policy, partnership, and advocacy efforts to expand and sustain access to Merck vaccines and to strengthen the immunization systems delivering our products.  Julia also currently serves as the Chair of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations’ (IFPMA) Vaccine Committee. Prior to joining Merck, Julia served for 15 years as a senior health official in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Her tenure at HHS included service as the Science Policy Director within the HHS Secretary’s policy, planning, and evaluation office (ASPE). She was responsible for policy coordination, planning, and legislative development focused on the HHS science agencies – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food & Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. 


Mark Chataway, Director, Hyderus Cyf
Mark Chataway is an expert in policy analysis and development, opinion research and communications. Mark has worked for governments such as the European Commission, India and South Africa; for intergovernmental organisations such as the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the IBSA alliance, Gavi and the WHO; for academic institutions including Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and RAND; for non-governmental groups such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and PATH and; for all of the world’s major vaccine research and production companies. Mark is the Director of Hyderus Cyf, a consultancy based in Wales and co-chairman of Baird’s CMC, a global consultancy group owned by 40 shareholders in over 30 countries.  Learn more about Mark.


Produced with the generous support of Pfizer.


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