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Newsletter 12/2021: Season's Greetings & Outlook to 2022

Dear Friends,

7.3% - this is the current number of people in low-income countries who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (data as of Dec.15). More than 80% of the 8.5 billion doses administered around the world have gone to G20 countries. These striking numbers tell us that at the end of the year 2021 we are still far from vaccine equity.

If it was not already obvious, the rise of the Omicron COVID variant made it more than clear: We cannot end the pandemic if we don’t solve the vaccine problem. "Omicron: the global response is making it worse", writes Nature journal about the new coronavirus variant and gets straight to the point. Vaccine inequity is the factor, which allows the virus to spread. In order to stop that, all countries worldwide need predictable and reliable vaccine supply. We must actively support WHO’s target for the next year of vaccinating 70% of the population of every country by the middle of 2022. 

Ending the pandemic will also be one of the main challenges for Germany’s G7 presidency in 2022 led by the new German government, which was sworn in on Dec. 8. After 16 years, we said goodbye to Chancellor Angela Merkel, "The World’s Most Powerful Woman" for the past 10 years in a row, according to Forbes magazine, and her famous hand gesture, the "Merkel rhombus" (which even received a Wikipedia entry and became an emoji). Angela Merkel has been our patron from the very first World Health Summit in 2009 and we cannot thank her enough for her strong support of global health.

Dear friends, 2022 will be a crucial year. We need new strategies, courageous leadership, and worldwide solidarity.

With this in mind, the whole World Health Summit team and myself wish you a peaceful holiday season.

Stay safe and healthy – and see you all in 2022!

Axel R. Pries
World Health Summit


The teams of the World Health Summit and the German Alliance for Global Health Research wish you peaceful holidays and all the best for 2022 - let's work together for global health.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and see you next year!


New German Government: Meet the Chancellor and the MOH

2022 will start with a new German government: Olaf Scholz has been Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany since December 2021. He succeeds Angela Merkel, who left office after 16 years. Since 2007, Olaf Scholz of the center-left SPD has almost continuously held government posts, 2018 he became Minister of Finance and vice chancellor. The new Minister of Health is Karl Lauterbach, also SPD, a medical doctor, a trained epidemiologist, a long-time health politician and MP, as well as an adjunct professor for health policy and management at the Harvard School for Public Health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Lauterbach emerged as one of Germany’s best-known experts on public health. "In my view, health policy can only be successful if it is driven by evidence-based medicine“, Mr. Lauterbach said at his inaugural ceremony. The new government is a so called traffic light coalition between social democrats, greens and liberals.


Berlin University Alliance Funds Joint Projects on Global Health

As part of the "Grand Challenge Initiative on Global Health", the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) is funding four innovative projects, which address urban mental health, planetary health, health care and migration, and antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
Read more 

And as part of its Oxford partnership, the BUA funds two interdisciplinary research projects, which investigate the role of infection control and dual infections by bacteria and fungi in the development of antibiotic resistance.
Read more


M8 Alliance Webinar Series on Migrant and Refugee Health

Save the Date: 
M8 Alliance Expert Meeting - Webinar: Health of Children on the Move
February 28, 2022, 3-5 PM CET, Sapienza University of Rome

Migrant and Refugee Health has been a focus topic of the M8 Alliance since 2016 with regular expert meetings and sessions at the World Health Summit.

Get all information on the webinar series, expert meetings, and the focus topic here
Recordings of all webinars are available on the World Health Summit YouTube channel



How did European Governments Manage the Pandemic so far? A 3-Country Study has the Answer

A recent study by the M8 Alliance members London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Karolinska Institutet highlights critical aspects of governance, such as establishing the role of trusted communication with the public and functioning multi-professional and independent science and advisory bodies nationally. The study, published in BMJ Global Health, compared Germany, Sweden, and the UK.

For this and more research results from the M8 Alliance, visit the World Health Summit COVID-19 Platform


Read an article and listen to a podcast on the difficulties of clinical research on COVID-19 in Germany in Deutschlandfunk
Listen to an interview with World Health Summit President Axel R. Pries on global vaccine equity in Deutschlandfunk
Read an opinion piece on how solidarity can overcome the COVID-19 pandemic in Devex
Read an interview with our council chair Ilona Kickbusch on health prevention and COVID-19 in Die Zeit

Find more media coverage here


Some selected events:

January 1: Germany takes over the G7 Presidency / France takes over the EU Council Presidency
February 4-20: 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing
February 13: Election of the German Federal President
April 7: World Health Day
April 10 & 24: French Presidential Election
May 22-28: WHO World Health Assembly in Geneva
June 2-5: Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee weekend in the UK
June 15-17: World Health Summit Regional Meeting in Rome
June 26-28: G7 Summit in Schloss Elmau
July 1: Czech Republic takes over the EU Council Presidency
September 13-27: UN General Assembly in New York
October 2: General Election in Brazil
October 16-18: World Health Summit in Berlin
November 7-18: COP27 International Climate Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh
November 21-December 18: FIFA World Cup in Qatar
December 27: 200th Birthday of Louis Pasteur


Regional Meeting 2022

Rome, Italy & Digital

June 15-17, 2022

World Health Summit 2022

Berlin, Germany & Digital

October 16-18, 2022

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