Philippine Ambassador-designate Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega visits the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)

By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

SEOUL, 20 September 2021 - Philippine Ambassador-designate Ma. Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega visited the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) headquarters located at the Seoul National University campus on 17 September 2021. Ambassador-designate De Vega had a productive meeting with Dr. Jerome H. Kim, Director General of the IVI and renowned global expert on the evaluation and development of vaccines.

Joining Director-General Kim were heads of the IVI's various divisions, including Deputy Director General Dr. Ahn Wartel, Filipina healthcare professional Dr. Zenaida Reynoso Mojares, Chief Medical Officer, Ms. Youngmi Cho, Head of Global Affairs & Communications, Dr. Jae Seung Yang, Senior Research Scientist and Mr. Colin McCann, Global Affairs Manager. Ambassador-designate De Vega was joined by Third Secretary and Vice Consul Reisha Olavario.

Dr. Jerome Kim and his team gave a briefing on provided the overall vision and operations of the IVI, its role in the global response to COVID-19, and its future plans as an international organization. Dr. Reynoso-Mojares also briefed the Ambassador-designate on IVI's vaccine clinical developments, including COVID-19 vaccine developments, IVI COVID-19 vaccine research and development, and IVI clinical trials and studies in the Philippines.

Ambassador-designate De Vega informed of the IVI of the Philippines' initiatives to create local vaccine manufacturing capacity. She highlighted the Philippines' Vaccine Self Reliance Project (VSRp) led by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) efforts to establish the Virology Science and Technology Institute in New Clark City.

Ambassador-designate De Vega was also given a tour of IVI laboratory facilities.

The IVI has a long history of working with the Philippines on clinical trials, including vaccine clinical trials for diseases such as typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera, dengue, and other non-COVID-19 respiratory pathogens.

The Philippines has been an IVI State Party since 2004.