Published: 2022-03-18 15:54 | Updated: 2022-03-18 16:15

Minister for International Development Cooperation at Karolinska Institutet

President Ole Petter Ottersen with the Minister for International Development Cooperation Matilda Ernkrans. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

On March 16 the Minister for International Development Cooperation visited Karolinska Institutet to discuss current research about vaccination and development cooperation for health. The visit was made in conjunction with National Vaccination Week, which has the aim of achieving more people being vaccinated against Covid 19.

During the visit, professors Matti Sällberg of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Anna Mia Ekström of the Department of Global Public Health, presented “vaccinets väg” or “the vaccine road”, which included the collaboration with Rwanda which KI set up, vaccine resistance and collaboration with the International Vaccine Institute and the Unicef Innovation Office.

“Access to vaccination is crucial. I visited Rwanda the other week where they have succeeded in vaccinating a large proportion of their population, and the way they see it they succeeded because they have widespread access to a robust health system,” says Matilda Ernkrans.

Photo: Ulf Sirborn

After that Professor Johan von Schreeb talked about the newly established Centre for Health Crises at KI, and its potential capacity to contribute to Sweden's humanitarian work within Europe, not least in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

“What we at the centre are going to do is to bring together researchers and other skilled individuals who can be available in a crisis, for example now in relation to the war in Ukraine.  We are forging the best possible contacts globally and with other universities in Sweden,” says Johan von Schreeb.

The visit finished with a discussion of the role of development cooperation in a new era, as well as the role of research and the University’s role in building human capital and ensuring access to global assets such as vaccines, active antibiotics and pandemic prevention.