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COVID Webinars

Hear from the experts on COVID research and learn about how decades of HIV research is informing the COVID response:


  • Understanding—And Improving—COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake (January 10)
    The causes of vaccine hesitancy are complex, but its impact on prolonging pandemics is clear. Low uptake, particularly in countries with widespread access to vaccines, is hobbling the global COVID-19 response. Learning from efforts to build confidence in effective vaccines, and in the health systems that develop, manufacture, approve and distribute them, is essential. These lessons are integral to ending the current pandemic and preparing the field for future vaccines to address HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and whatever pandemic might be next. The webinar featured a panel discussion with John Nkengasong, current director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (and President Biden’s nominee to lead PEPFAR), Heidi Larson, founding director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Kate Hopkins, Director of Research, Vaccine Acceptance & Demand at the Sabin Vaccine Institute which was moderated by WACI Health’s Rosemary Mburu.


  • Webinar on Omicron and HIV with Salim Abdool Karim (December 15)
    Dr. Salim Abdool Karim, director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), joined the COVID Advocates Advisory Board (CAAB) and AVAC to discuss the latest findings on the Omicron variant. Karim shared the latest updates and what questions are being pursued about Omicron, vaccines and any potential connections to HIV. For background, read a commentary Karim co-authored with Quarraisha Abdool Karim in The Lancet, Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant: a new chapter in the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Reality Check About “Global” COVID-19 Vaccine Production (November 4)
    Award-winning journalist Stephanie Nolen joined AVAC to discuss the findings and backstory of her recent New York Times investigation,"Here’s Why Developing Countries Can Make mRNA COVID Vaccines." During the webinar, Stephanie, AVAC and partners explored where we are in the fight to bring COVID mRNA vaccine manufacturing to the places where doses are needed most, in countries where vaccine access has been grievously stalled. We also talked through her report and discussed the parallels with HIV. Recording available.
  • Advancing HIV Prevention & SRHR for Adolescent Girls and Young Women in the Time of COVID (September 28)
    The webinar opened with remarks from Serra Sippel, Chief Global Advocacy Officer at IPPFWHR, and included a conversation with six young women advocates from Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The panel was moderated by Liz Ford, Deputy Editor for The Guardian's Global Development website. Recording available.
  • Innovations and Challenges of PEPFAR Prevention Programming During the COVID-19 Pandemic (September 10)
    The webinar opened with a presentation by staff from the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator on prevention programming, followed by a moderated panel discussion. Recording available.
  • HIV Vaccines in the Midst of COVID (May 13)
    Expert researchers and advocates discussed major issues and advances in HIV vaccine R&D and the impacts of COVID-19 on vaccine research and delivery. The conversation explored the lessons learned to date and how they serve as a warning, a model, and a body of evidence on the need for accelerated vaccine development and comprehensive strategies for equitable global access. Recording available.
  • Applying GPP Principles and Practices to the Exceptional Circumstances of COVID-19 (April 1)
    To mark the launch of Essential Principles & Practices for GPP Compliance: Engaging stakeholders in biomedical research during the era of COVID-19, AVAC hosted a webinar on April 1st. Bartholomew Wilson from the Partnership for Research on Vaccines and Infectious Diseases in Liberia discussed his publication in Nature Medicine on GPP in pandemic research. This was followed by a panel discussion with Danielle Campbell (UCLA) and Miliswa Magongo (Wits RHI) highlighting diverse perspectives on the importance of GPP within COVID-research and beyond. Recording available.


  • How COVID-19 is Impacting Africa: A Conversation with the Directors of Africa CDC and WACI Health (September 16)
    Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, Rosemary Mburu, Executive Director of WACI Health and Lwazi Mlaba, a Global Fund Champion working in HIV, TB and GBV; a COVID-survivor and the founder of an African COVID-19 Support group discussed the impact of COVID-19 in Africa. Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi, Principal Research Officer at KEMRI and Co-Director of the KEMRI-UCSF Infectious Disease Research Training Program moderated the converstation. Recording available.
  • Learning from Historic Vaccine Research & the Latest on the mRNA-1273 Candidate (August 25)
    Dr. Barney Graham, the Deputy Director of the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center, reviewed the rapid development timeline for COVID-19 vaccines and provided an update on the mRNA-1273 vaccine—developed by Moderna and the NIH. Recording available.
  • The Power–and Pitfalls–of Modeling for COVID-19 and HIV (May 7)
    John Stover and Nadia Carvalho of Avenir Health, discussed the current state of COVID-19 modeling and opportunities for advocates to use modeling in their work. Recording and slides available here.
  • Pandemic Vaccine Development and Lessons for COVID-19 (April 2)
    Dr. Mark Feinberg, CEO of IAVI and Dr. Helen Rees of Wits RHI talked about lessons from Ebola and HIV vaccine development and the role of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Access the recording, listen to excerpts or read the transcript.
  • Global Advocates’ Teleconference: COVID-19 & HIV update (March 23)
    Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, NIH’s Director of the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) talked about the impact of COVID-19 on HIV research and more. Lilian Mworeko of ICW-EA and Yvette Raphael of APHA explore a robust advocacy agenda for sub-Saharan Africa. View the recording.