GSK’s annual Palio meeting focuses on sustainability

GSK’s annual Palio meeting is taking place with a focus on how preventative approaches to disease can help mitigate climate change. 

GSK’s ‘Vaccines for a sustainable planet’ meeting is gathering 65 experts across immunology, vaccinology, epidemiology, and policy throughout 7-8 July. 

The meeting will include a range of plenary sessions and working group discussions that cover topics on how vaccines can mitigate the effects of environmental change; vaccine development to prevent human-animal disease transmission; equitable access to vaccines and how to maximise the impact of vaccines to meet sustainability goals. 

Other sessions will explore how to prioritise pathogens for antimicrobial resistance and the role of vaccines in protecting microbial diversity. 

Speakers at this year’s event include Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH, and Muhammad Ali Pate, Global Director of Health, Population and Nutrition at the World Bank. 

As climate change continues to worsen, this can impact respiratory health issues, increasing the spread of diseases such as malaria, and fostering antimicrobial resistance. The health impacts of environmental change can also disproportionately affect underserved groups, including people in low- and middle-income countries. 

Official comments  

Rino Rappuoli, Head External R&D & Chief Vaccine Scientist, GSK, and initiator of the Palio meeting series, said: “With global health issues becoming increasingly severe as the pace of environmental change accelerates, disease prevention is becoming ever more important. Vaccines have a key role in responding to these threats. Palio is a much-needed opportunity for the scientific community to reflect on how we can maximise the impact of vaccines.” 

Eliora Ron, Professor of Microbiology, Tel-Aviv University, and President of IUMS (International Union of Microbiological Societies) added: “Vaccines have an important role in protecting people’s health yet our understanding on their wider impact, such as reducing the spread and risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria, is still emerging. Palio 2022 highlights there is growing recognition of the interconnections between health, climate and nature, and the scientific community must use these moments to build knowledge and ultimately find solutions for global healthcare and sustainability challenges.” 

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