The 5th Asian Vaccine Conference (ASVAC) was held this year from June 12th -14th in Hanoi, Vietnam. This was CoMO’s 3rd ASVAC and certainly our most enjoyable so far.
This year CoMO co-partnered with the International Vaccine Advisory Centre (IVAC) to present a workshop entitled ‘Vaccine Advocacy in Action’. Alongside CoMO’s president, Bruce Langoulant, speakers included Lois Privor-Dumm of IVAC, Lulu Bravo of Immunization Partners in Asia Pacific (IPAP), and Li Jin Chan of parenting2u.com.
The session provided a brief overview of meningitis and discussed the best methods for engaging and communicating with patient groups as key partners in immunization. With personal stories from Bruce Langoulant and Li Jin Chan, as well as guiding principles of advocacy from Lois Privor-Dumm, the session was a valuable lesson to anyone trying to implement advocacy strategies with their local authorities.
Bruce and Li Jin also participated in another IVAC workshop, this time aimed at journalists. The workshop aimed to generate a better understanding of the challenges facing the media and how best to engage the public on issues surrounding vaccination across Asia. A journalist in the audience wrote a poignant yet hopeful piece shortly after the conference, which touches on some of the themes covered: http://opinion.inquirer.net/85910/polios-end-game.