Anna Vassall shared her experiences in supporting policy decisions throughout different phases of the Covid-19 pandemic in a recent CHDS seminar. Vassall directs the Global Health Economics Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She co-leads a research program that supports decisions related to the Covid-19 response across low- and middle- income countries.
Vassall discussed the evolution of the research questions her team has addressed over the course of the pandemic. These included improving understanding of the outbreak and its potential impact, optimizing the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions prior to the availability of vaccines, tackling questions related to vaccine allocation, and considering how to shape policies as the pandemic slowly becomes endemic. Vassall highlighted the challenges and considerations associated with different phases of these research efforts, including data, research methodologies, and implementation procedures. She also focused attention on the limited analytic capacity for supporting decisions in low- and middle-income countries, noting the importance of reducing global disparities in research resources to prepare for future pandemics.
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