Dr. Amadou Sall, the director of Institut Pasteur of Dakar, gave a keynote address that outlined the clinical progression of yellow fever, its historic spread and links with the African slave trade, existing challenges in fighting yellow fever, and emphasized vaccination as being of critical importance to preventing and responding to outbreaks. Dr. Sall noted that sustainable surveillance and preparedness are critical, which segued into the first panel discussion, focusing on existing surveillance systems, laboratory networks, and tools. Experts from the Institut Pasteur of Dakar, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Evandro Chagas Institute in Brazil engaged in a moderated discussion on diagnostic challenges, epidemiological trends, and the impact that human activities such as urban development and migration have on the current outbreaks in Latin America and Central Africa.
The second discussion focused on yellow fever vaccine production, export, and delivery constraints, with expert panelists from Bio-Manguinhos, UNICEF, Sanofi, the Pan American Health Organization, and Georgetown University. The experts discussed all aspects of vaccine procurement, as well as yellow fever vaccine prequalification by WHO. The panelists also highlighted issues surrounding vaccine strategy, fractionated doses, and potential new vaccines in the pipeline.
The symposium took place at a time when several epidemics have been reported including those in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016, Brazil from 2016 to the present, Nigeria in 2017 and 2018, and the Republic of Congo and Central African Republic recently.
The Mérieux Foundation USA is grateful for the collaboration from PAHO in putting together the symposium, as well as sponsorship from Sanofi.
Opening Remarks: Guy Vernet, CEO, Mérieux Foundation USA
Keynote Speaker: Amadou Sall, Director, Institut Pasteur of Dakar, Senegal (via Skype)
Panel Discussion 1: YF in AFRO and AMRO Regions Including Surveillance Systems in Place and Laboratory Networks and Tools
- Gamou Fall, Institut Pasteur of Dakar, Senegal
- Sylvain Aldighieri, Pan American Health Organization, USA
- Pedro da Costa Vasconcelos, Evandro Chagas Institute, Brazil
- Guy Vernet, CEO, Mérieux Foundation USA, Moderator
Panel Discussion 2: Challenges Related to Vaccine Supply and Implementation of Vaccine Strategies
- Daniel Lucey, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
- John Fitzsimmons, Pan American Health Organization, USA
- Hans Christiansen, UNICEF, Denmark (via Skype)
- Priscila Ferraz, Bio-Manguinhos, Brazil
- Eduardo Arce, Sanofi
- Jon Andrus, George Washington University, Washington, DC, Moderator