ISSAD are excited to announce that the below speakers will be taking part in the keynote sessions at the ISSAD Conference in November.

Dr Kate O'Brien, Director at the WHO.
Dr Kate O’Brien, Director of the Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals Department at the World Health Organization

Dr Kate O’Brien will be taking part as a keynote speaker on the first day of the conference. In her role, she is responsible for leading WHO’s strategy and implementation to advance the vision of a world where everyone, everywhere, at every age, fully benefits from vaccines for good health and wellbeing. The Department works across all levels of WHO (country, region and headquarters) in collaboration with partners to support countries in achieving the optimum use and impact of vaccines. Dr O’Brien also serves as WHO’s Technical Lead of the COVID Vaccine Pillar (COVAX), a part of the Access to COVID Tools Accelerator (ACT-A). The mission of COVAX is to deliver 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021, to help end the acute phase of the pandemic.


Prof Shabir A. Madhi
Professor of Vaccinology and Director of the MRC Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit at University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Shabir Madhi is the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He also holds the position of Director of the South African Medical Research Council Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA) and is co-Director of the African Leadership Initiative for Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE). He has in the past led studies on pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and rotavirus vaccine in Africa, which informed WHO recommendations on the use of these vaccines in low and middle-income settings. He has led studies on the clinical development of vaccines for pregnant women aimed at the protection of mother-infant dyads. Most recently he led the first two COVID-19 vaccine studies being undertaken in Africa and has been involved in multiple epidemiological studies on Covid-19 in South Africa. He has co-authored more than 480 scientific manuscripts since 1997, mainly on vaccine-preventable diseases. 

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