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Korea Foundation Virtual Dialogue Series - Finale

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Date 2020-06-23 Event period 2020-06-17 ~ 2020-06-17 Read 39
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Korea Foundation Virtual Dialogue Series
- Finale
On June 17, the Korea Foundation organized the final session of the KF Virtual Dialogue Series. This session, which focused on the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea and Sweden, covered topics including vaccine development, government policies, and other pandemic-related issues.

Three experts from relevant fields participated in the event: vaccine researcher Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute; public health administration expert Dr. Youngmee Jee, the Korea Foundation’s Special Representative for Health Diplomacy; and social scientist Charlotta Stern, professor at Stockholm University.

During the session, Dr. Kim anticipated that development and clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines would be completed within the next 18 months, and emphasized that the key to stabilization of the spread of the virus will depend on the capacity to produce a sufficient amount of vaccine. He expressed a positive attitude toward global distribution of vaccines led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI). This organization ensures fair distribution of vaccines through the Global Access Agreement and strong cooperation with healthcare stakeholders.

Dr. Jee insisted that South Korea was able to make a prompt and thorough response to the pandemic thanks to the country’s previous experience dealing with the 2015 MERS outbreak. South Korea opened its Emergency Operations Center about a month prior to the WTO’s declaration of COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern. The spread of coronavirus was then further contained through close cooperation between the central and local governments. Currently, Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Science and ICT are joining forces with academia and the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture and distribute medication and medical equipment.

Meanwhile, Prof. Stern mentioned that the Swedish government did not choose to take strong lockdown measures because of their belief in Sweden’s high-trust society, a desire not to violate the Swedish constitution and to protect individual freedoms, and potential negative effects on the economy. She added that a soft lockdown did successfully slow down the rate of increase in the number of new infections without placing a burden on healthcare services, despite the failure of herd immunity and an overall high death rate among elderly citizens.

The entirety of the KF Virtual Dialogue Series - COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities was jointly organized by the Korea Foundation and leading think tanks in six countries. The series was designed to share each country’s successes and failures in handling the novel coronavirus, and to strengthen international society’s understanding of South Korea’s role during the pandemic.

Experts and government officials in various sectors were invited to these discussions, which focused on the spread of the epidemic, public-private partnerships, utilization of information and communications technology in responding to the crisis, comparisons of each country’s strategy, and other coronavirus-related topics.

Views for the series have totaled over 5,500. Recordings of each session are available on the Korea Foundation’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/TheKoreaFoundation).

Thank you for having supported this series.
Korea Foundation Virtual Dialogue Series - Finale photo

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