Dartmouth Team Convenes International Forum to Explore New Vaccine Procurement Models

In a world where equitable access to vaccines remains paramount, public health and policy experts from the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College are breaking new ground, organizing an international stakeholder summit: "Better Preparedness for the Next Pandemic: Developing Vaccine Access Models with Low- and Middle-income Countries" in Salzburg, Austria from March 11-16, 2024

The summit in Salzburg focuses on the central theme of turning new vaccines into vaccinations. It aims to delve deeper into the procurement mechanisms that can enhance access to vital vaccines, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

"This summit represents a crucial step towards ensuring equitable access to lifesaving vaccines," said Kendall Hoyt, faculty director for the Pandemic Security Project, an innovative pilot program of Global Health and Development at the Dickey Center. "By centering the perspectives of LMICs and prioritizing the needs of end-users, we aim to design procurement mechanisms that are truly fit for purpose, thereby maximizing the impact of global vaccination efforts."

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the critical importance of equitable and timely vaccine procurement and distribution systems, especially for regions with limited resources. While initiatives like COVAX have made strides in promoting equitable vaccine distribution, challenges persist in aligning procurement mechanisms with the needs and capabilities of end-users in LMICs. The Salzburg forum seeks to bridge this gap by facilitating direct engagement with representatives from LMICs to understand their needs, constraints, and operational requirements, thereby informing the design of future vaccine procurement models.

Bringing together a diverse array of stakeholders including senior health ministry officials, procurement experts, healthcare practitioners, policymakers, and researchers from Africa alongside modelers, funders, and pharmaceutical executives, this forum aims to establish key principles for the design of next-generation multilateral procurement mechanisms. By prioritizing the voices and experiences of end-users, particularly from LMICs, the forum endeavors to create a more responsive and effective framework for global vaccine access.

The forum builds upon the pivotal discussions initiated during the DIVI Conference at Dartmouth in December of 2023. It is held under the auspices of Salzburg Global Seminars and will feature highly participatory sessions aimed at fostering dialogue, generating new insights, and formulating actionable recommendations. These recommendations will be presented in international fora to inform the development of robust multilateral procurement mechanisms for future pandemics and outbreaks.

As the world grapples with the ongoing challenges posed by pandemics, the summit in Salzburg stands as a beacon of collaboration and innovation, driving towards a future where vaccines can reach those who need them most, when they need them most.

Participants from Dartmouth include Dawn Carey, Director, Global Health and Development at the Dickey Center,  Kendall Hoyt, Faculty Director for the Pandemic Security Project, Victoria Holt, Director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth, Dr. Lisa Adams, Associate Dean for Global Health at the Geisel School of Medicine, Anaise Boucher-Browning '22, Great Issues Fellow at the Dickey Center, and students Ganza Belise Aloysie Isingizwe '26 and Manasi Singh '24.  

About the Pandemic Security Project

The Pandemic Security Project is an initiative of the Global Health and Development program at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth explores and analyzes the lessons surfaced during the global response to the pandemic. It seeks to convene Dartmouth, domestic, and international experts in economics, biosecurity, and epidemiology to study the global effects of pandemics, the origins of COVID, analyze our preparedness, and suggest ways to prevent the next epidemic. 

About the Dartmouth International Vaccine Initiative (DIVI)

The Dartmouth International Vaccine Initiative (DIVI) is a collaborative effort dedicated to advancing global health through the development and equitable distribution of vaccines. Comprising experts from diverse fields including medicine, public health, economics, and policy, DIVI strives to address the complex challenges surrounding vaccine access and delivery, particularly in resource-constrained settings.

About the Salzburg Global Seminar

Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent non-profit organization with a mission to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Their programs are inclusive, interdisciplinary, international and intergenerational, and are designed to provide a global lab for innovation and transformation. They convene cohorts of passionate changemakers across diverse fields and backgrounds. They  develop and curate networks that support collaboration, share innovations with new audiences, and expand impact through work with partners around the globe. 

For more about the summit see salzburgglobal.org/multi-year-series/health/pageId/10541 or contact Dawn Carey at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth:  dawn.e.carey@dartmouth.edu.