On October 28 and 29, 2021, the first Regional Technical Workshop for the Manufacture of Vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean was held virtually. On the occasion, authorities and experts highlighted the importance of cooperation between countries and sectoral institutions to boost vaccine manufacturing in the region. This workshop was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Mexican States, the Coalition for Innovations in Preparedness for Pandemics (CEPI), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
The main objective of this workshop was the presentation and analysis of the available information regarding Latin America and the Caribbean regional strengths and weaknesses in the vaccine manufacturing, as a response to the current health crisis and possible future pandemics. In this sense, the workshop was presented as a unique opportunity to strengthen and rebuild the scientific and technical cooperation networks in the region.
During the workshop, the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Mtra. Martha Delgado Peralta, highlighted the importance of political will in the region in the construction of regional plans that allow us to collectivize a response to the health problems of the future.
On the other hand, the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Dr. Alicia Bárcena insisted that the regional search for a solution is the most convenient given the complexities and heterogeneity of the region, which is unique in the world and requires precise attention. In this regard, she highlighted the continuation of the Plan for self-sufficiency in health matters in Latin America and the Caribbean approved within the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
In the other hand, Richard Hatchett from CEPI highlighted the effort of the workshop as an opportunity to increase the ties that allow us to advance technically and politically in improving a global response to this type of crisis.
In his intervention, James Fitzgerald from PAHO remarked the efforts made by this organization regarding the fight against various diseases –not only COVID-19—along the region.
This workshop hosted a diverse source of participants from all the region, coming from different industries and sectors. This allowed a rich and fruitful debate from different perspectives regarding vaccine manufacturing.
In conclusion, it was determined the importance of continuing the efforts behind this workshop, proposing a second one to be held tentatively in February 2022. Similarly, it was shared that this type of effort guarantees a better regional coordination in the future, providing a platform for academia, international organizations, the public and private sectors, to think together the best strategies to face the future with better tools.