On May 27, 2021 in the President Hotel (Moscow), the Russian Academy of Sciences with support from the Higher School of Healthcare Organization and Management held the RAS International Scientific Symposium “Epidemics and Pandemics: Findings and Managing the Future.”
RAS President, Academician Alexander Sergeev welcomed the Symposium’s attendees and guests.
The first scientific session “COVID-19: from vaccine development to herd immunity” was moderated by RAS Vice President, Academician Vladimir Chekhonin.
RAS Academician Leila Adamyan, Deputy Director for Research and Head of the Operative Gynecology Department at the National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology named after Academician V.I.Kulakov at the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation; Mikhail Panteleev, Corresponding Member of the RAS, Director of the Center for Theoretical Problems in Physicocheminal Pharmacology; Professor Aidar Ishmukhametov, Director General of the Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune-and-Biological Products, and other scientists delivered presentations on such topics as “Developing Sputnik V Vaccine and an Approach to Herd Immunity,” “Criteria for Selecting a Whole-Virion Vaccine for the Purposes of Prophylaxis,” “Peptide Vaccine EpiVacCorona: From Development to Use,” “Hemostatic Disorders in COVID-19 Patients.”
The second part of the Symposium focused on geopolitical, socioeconomic, and psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic; this part was moderated by Guzel Ulumbekova, Dr.Sc. in Medicine, the Director of the Higher School of Healthcare Organization and Management.
At the session, Russia was represented by Fyodor Voitolovsky, corresponding member of the RAS, Director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Timofey Nestik, Professor of the RAS, Head of the Laboratory for Social and Economic Psychology; and Professor Vladimir Mendelevich, a World Health Organization expert and Director of the Institute for Research into Mental Health Problems. Dr. Voitolovsky delivered a paper “The COVID-19 Pandemic and its International Economic and Political Consequences” where he stated that the pandemic has not resulted in significant advances in international cooperation, but in long-term, we will see major changes in many countries’ biosafety. Professor Nestik discussed socio-psychological dimensions of overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.
International participants in the symposium included Carole Mundell, the Chief International Science Envoy at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom; Ruben Oliven, Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Sul, a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences; Han Buxin, Professor at the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Narinder Kumar Mehra, Researcher Emeritus at the Indian Council of Medical Research; and Julian May, a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, the Director of the Center of Excellence in Food Security at the University of the Western Cape.
Among the Symposium’s international attendees, special mention should be made of Carole Mundell, the Chief International Science Envoy at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom. In her presentation, she offered a UK perspective on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and noted the role of international cooperation, “International expert discussions, such as the one we are engaged in today, create a vital platform that stimulates us to share knowledge and cutting-edge practices and establishes connections between our research, innovative, and public communities. The UK, Russia, and other countries present here today have a long history of bilateral cooperation in science that has upheld the principles of academic diplomacy and formed leading institutional researches in all our states that have created an excellent reputation for themselves.”
Julian May, a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, the Director of the Center of Excellence in Food Security at the University of the Western Cape, delivered a presentation on socioeconomic consequences COVID-19 had for South Africa. He detailed South African statistics, the pandemic’s negative effect on the economy and people’s mental health, “The lockdown we have gone through may have had the desired effect, but, on the other hand, we experienced a spike in poverty and hunger, a drop in employment, and related mental health problems.”