- 2022 Feb. 7
- Online(Hyojeong Cultural Center), Gapyeong, Korea
Making the World Better for Future Generations
Scientific innovation along with international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is vital to overcoming the recent pandemic. The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee has decided to award the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize to “Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert for developing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine” and to “Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for providing universal and equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccine worldwide.”
Dame Sarah Gilbert, professor of Vaccinology at Jenner Institute, Oxford University is a scientist who co-developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Professor Gilbert viewed the coronavirus as a common threat to humanity and took a universal approach. She stood firm that vaccine sales were not for profit and contracted with AstraZeneca who has pledged to manufacture and distribute the vaccine at low cost. More than 2.5 billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been distributed to 182 nations. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is easier and less expensive to manufacture, store and transport, playing a key role in protecting the lives of many from Covid-19 in countries with less medical aid.
She has been working for over 25 years on designing vaccines against infectious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Crimean Congo Haemorraghic Fever (CCHF), Nipah virus, and Lassa fever. Realizing the importance of speed in overcoming infectious diseases, she developed the revolutionary ‘plug and play’ method to design a vaccine. She helped to protect the lives of billions of people with her heroic devotion and scientific achievements from years of research even before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is the largest international cooperation mechanism that contributed to improving the overall health of humanity by providing vaccination to children in developing countries. Gavi coordinated the COVAX initiative immediately after the coronavirus outbreak in the year 2020, a global collaboration to support manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines and negotiate their pricing for fair and equitable access. More than one billion doses have been distributed in 144 nations worldwide through this effort. Gavi’s leadership in pursuing international solidarity and multilateral cooperation in response to vaccine inequality is exemplary in its efforts to protect the most vulnerable.
It is estimated that more than 900 million were vaccinated since Gavi was founded in the year 2000, saving up to 14 million lives, and the DPT vaccination rate increased from 59% to 81% in 20 years, which helped to decrease the child death rate by half in 73 developing countries. Our committee highly appreciates Gavi’s contributions to improving life expectancy.
Paradoxically, the Covid-19 pandemic is giving us an opportunity to drive real change. We are stronger together, and global solidarity is essential. We can prosper when we cross boundaries to work together. The efforts of Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to create a ‘Community of Mutual Prosperity and Peace’ serve as model for all nations and people to endorse and support. Therefore, we are honored to award the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize to Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert and the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Vaccine Equity as a Response to Global Infectious Diseases
The 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize was focused on “Vaccine Equity as a Response to Global Infectious Diseases.” Covid-19 has significantly affected the basic global orders in politics, economics, society and culture, changing the way countries govern and collaborate internationally as well as communication on all levels. As a result, global governance has largely retreated, leaving severe sequelae around the world including the rise of nationalism, global economic shock and deepening inequality.
The world after Covid-19 will see the rise of a peaceful new normal era as the international society goes through a process of equitably reorganizing global governance. Solidarity and collaboration based on love for humanity is the key in this transformation, especially in order to prepare for the next Disease-X. Therefore, the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize was awarded to those who made noteworthy contributions in making vaccines a global public good on the frontline of global pandemic crisis.
‘2022 Sunhak Peace Prize Focuses on Vaccine Equity’
“Professor Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert
(Developer of AstraZeneca Vaccine)
and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Selected as Laureates”
On February 7, 2022, the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee (Chairman José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission) announced that the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize laureates would be Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert (age 59), Professor of Vaccinology at Jenner Institute, University of Oxford and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance founded in 2000.
Professor Sarah Gilbert was recognized for the key role she played in protecting billions of lives in less developed countries by co-developing the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which is easier and less expensive to manufacture, store and transport. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was recognized for its contributions in coordinating the COVAX Facility initiative, which aims to provide fair and equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccine worldwide.
Professor Sarah Gilbert viewed the Covid-19 pandemic as a common threat to humanity and approached vaccines as a global public good. She stood firm that the vaccine she developed was not for profit, which has been delivered to 182 countries around the globe.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is the largest international cooperation mechanism that contributed to improving the overall health of humanity by providing vaccination in developing countries. Immediately after the coronavirus outbreak, it coordinated the COVAX Facility, a global collaboration to support manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines and negotiate their pricing for fair and equitable access. More than one billion doses have been distributed in 144 nations worldwide through this effort.
Furthermore, Gavi has supported the immunization of more than 900 million children, reaching almost half of all children worldwide, preventing over 14 million deaths since its founding in the year 2000. In particular, the number of children immunized with the DPT vaccine in 73 developing countries increased from 59% in 2000 to 81% in 2020, reducing the child mortality rate by 50%.
Chairman José Manuel Barroso added, “Paradoxically, the Covid-19 pandemicis giving us an opportunity to drive real change. We do not know when the next pandemic will occur, but the Covid-19 has taught us that solidarity and cooperation based solely on humanity are the solutions to this global crisis.”
Future generations refer not only to our own physical descendants
but also to all future generations to come.
Since all decisions made by the current generation will either positively
or negatively affect them, we must take responsibility for our actions.