COVID-19 Vaccine RolloutVIEW EVENT DETAILS
In less than a year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical companies across the globe have developed, tested, and manufactured several effective vaccines, a record-breaking achievement in medicine. With the world still gripped by a pandemic claiming thousands of lives each day and disrupting life as we know it, the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine is a major step toward our “new normal.” However, distributing the vaccine to billions of people is another task entirely. In the United States, the vaccine rollout has been plagued by shortages of doses, a decentralized system led by state governments, vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, as well as confusion over who can receive the vaccine, and when and where they can get it. Many Asian nations remain in the process of approving vaccines, from both Western manufacturers like Pfizer and AstraZeneca and regional companies like China’s Sinovac.
Join Asia Society Southern California, in partnership with the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, for a discussion of the complex process of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States and Asia. Our featured experts are Professor Sophia Chan, the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Secretary for Food and Health, Dr. James Curran, Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and Dr. Ashish K. Jha, Dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University. They will provide an informed perspective on the successes and areas for improvement in vaccine distribution thus far, as well as how the rollout might proceed through the rest of the year. The conversation will be moderated by former ASSC Executive Director and journalist, Jonathan Karp.
Professor Sophia Chan, JP
Professor Chan was appointed as Secretary for Food and Health on 1 July 2017. She was Under Secretary for Food and Health from 2012-2017 and participated in and responsible for policy formulation and promotion. Before joining the Government, Professor Chan was a Professor in Nursing, Head of the School of Nursing and Director of Research at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She was also an Assistant Dean of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of HKU.
Having trained in and practised general and paediatric nursing in Hong Kong and London, she read her Master of Education at the University of Manchester, Master of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, and completed her doctoral studies at the HKU. Subsequently, she focused on teaching, research and administration in academia. Professor Chan’s research is internationally recognised; she is awarded a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health (through distinction), Royal College of Physicians of United Kingdom (FFPH (RCP)(UK)), and is the first nurse in Hong Kong being awarded the Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). Her paedagogy has been recognised by the award of the Faculty Teaching Medal in 2005 and the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009, one of the highest honor for teaching achievements conferred by HKU.
Professor Chan is one of the leading nurse scientists and her research specialises in public health, management of tobacco dependency and prevention of second hand smoke exposure in children, and proposes novel insights. Her team of investigators was one of the top funded researchers, and she published extensively in international
journals on nursing, tobacco control, and public health. She consults widely nationally and internationally and has represented the University and the Food and Health Bureau in international meetings and invited by the World Health Organization to provide advice and leadership on their public health and tobacco control initiatives.
James W. Curran, MD, MPH
Jim Curran joined the Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) as dean and professor of epidemiology in 1995, following 25 years of leadership at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is emeritus co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research, and holds faculty appointments in the Emory School of Medicine and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.
In 1981, Curran led a CDC task force charged with determining what was behind the first cases of what we now know as AIDS. While at the CDC, he attained the rank of assistant surgeon general.
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Curran received his MD from the University of Michigan and a master of public health from Harvard University. Author or co-author of more than 290 scholarly publications, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993.
In 2015 Curran was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. In 2009, the Rollins School of Public Health Dean’s position was named the James W. Curran Dean of Public Health in his honor.
A practicing physician, Ashish K. Jha, M.D., M.P.H., is recognized globally as an expert on pandemic preparedness and response as well as on health policy research and practice. He has led groundbreaking research around Ebola and is now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, leading national and international analysis of key issues and advising state and federal policy makers.
On September 1, Dr. Jha started his role as the Dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University. Before that, Dr. Jha was a faculty member at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health since 2004 and Harvard Medical School since 2005. He was the Faculty Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute from 2014 until September 2020. From 2018 to 2020, he served as the Dean for Global Strategy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Jonathan Karp served as Asia Society Southern California’s executive director from 2014 through mid-2019 and has since consulted for ASSC and other nonprofit organizations. He joined Asia Society after a distinguished career in journalism, including a decade of reporting in Asia. Karp began his journalism career in Israel in 1986 and continued as a foreign correspondent based in Hong Kong, New Delhi and Sao Paulo, Brazil, the last two posts as a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal. In 2004, he transferred to the Journal’s Los Angeles Bureau and later served as senior editor at Marketplace Radio, leading the business and finance coverage for their family of public radio shows. Karp studied Middle Eastern History at Princeton.
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