Held in conjunction with the WHO’s World Immunisation Week 2021, the landmark event saw experts across various fields coming together to lead exciting discussions on innovative ways to roll out vaccines in Asia


We held our first-ever virtual summit from 28-29 April 2021 around “Immunisation Matters: What Asia Needs for a Successful Vaccine Roll-out”. This event was held in support of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s annual World Immunisation Week, aimed at encouraging greater engagement around immunisation globally. This year’s global theme was ‘Vaccines Bring Us Closer’ to promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together, and improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life.

The summit attracted over 1,750 attendees, including Zuellig Pharma’s clients, customers, suppliers, employees, partners as well as government officials and healthcare practitioners. The summit featured six key sessions that focused on the journey to immunisation in Asia, including the role of technology in vaccine management, experiences and challenges in rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine supply chains, the economics of immunisation and how scientific innovation and private-public partnerships can accelerate herd immunity in Asia.

Feedback from the conference was overwhelmingly positive, with attendees rating the session an average of 8.8 out of 10.

The first day of the conference kicked off with an internal webinar attended by over 1,700 Zuellig Pharma employees across the region, where our CEO John Graham and Carol Xu, EVP Chief People Officer shared opening remarks. Key findings from a survey of close to 9,000 colleague’s perspectives about immunisation, were presented by Carl Geraghty, Managing Director of TAGR Research Consultants, the firm which conducted the research. Carl touched on key vaccine hesitancy factors and what factors would contribute to employees feeling comfortable taking the vaccine. Dr Puchong Padungsutt, Regional Medical Director, ZP Therapeutics addressed these concerns in a short message, sharing insights on the various types of COVID-19 vaccines available, its manufacturing process and what it means for the public taking the vaccine.

Throughout the entire Immunisation Week, Zuellig Pharma employees also participated in an internal Virtual Amazing Race around the theme “Immunisation Matters to Me”. The internal theme “Immunisation Matters to Me” reflects the importance to protect our loved ones by having evidence-based conversations and developing a considered perspective of vaccines based on science and facts. Our colleagues engaged actively in discussions with each other around immunisation. More than 100 colleagues also took to Yammer to share their support for the importance of vaccinations in guarding those we love.

We then proceeded to officially launch the Immunisation Matters Virtual Summit. Please find a summary of the sessions across 28 and 29 April below.


Session 1: The Road to Immunisation in Asia

Patrick Bergstedt, Senior Vice President of Commercial Vaccines at Moderna delivered the plenary keynote, touching on the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, its mRNA capabilities and the company’s future plans moving forward.

This was followed by a panel discussion with Patrick, joined by Zuellig Pharma’s CEO John Graham and moderated by Jannette Jakosalem, Chief Business Officer Philippines, Zuellig Pharma. The discussion revolved around Zuellig Pharma’s approach to managing the COVID-19 vaccine situation with clients and customers as well as issues around vaccine hesitancy.


Session 2: Digital Solutions For Public Good: The Role Of Technology In Vaccine Management

We were joined by Aman Bajaaj, Managing Director of APAC Life Sciences at Accenture who opened the session with how digital and technology can help overcome key challenges in rolling out vaccination programmes, and the key contributing factors to successful vaccination deployment across the region.

The session’s second keynote speaker – Dr Keren Priyadarshini, Business Lead for Worldwide Health, Microsoft, shared about the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare platform, and touched on the challenges with vaccine availability.

This was followed by a panel discussion with Pamela Wong, Digital Lead, MSD Hong Kong, moderated by Daniel Laverick, Head of SAP & IT solutions at Zuellig Pharma.



Session 3: Rolling Out A COVID-19 Vaccine: Experiences And Challenges

Session 3 started with Eduardo Pedrosa, Secretary General of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) who shared his views on international policy and vaccine roll-out.

Dr Ping-Ing Lee, Convener of Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Member of Taiwan CECC advisory specialist panel and Honorary President of Taiwan Immunisation Vision and Strategy (TIVS), touched on Taiwan's COVID 19 roll-out story, how the market’s outbreak was kept under control as well as critical success factors for future phases of mass vaccination.
During the panel discussion, the two speakers were joined by Imogen Page-Jarrett, Research Analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit, who discussed timelines for potential economic recovery in the region, based on expected vaccination timelines in Asia.  


Session 4: Vaccine Supply Chain: Embedding Resilience Into Your Organisation’s Muscle Memory

Four powerhouse speakers including Michael Culme-Seymour, VP And Managing Director APAC at Roambee, Consultant to the World Economic Forum, Wolfgang Lehmacher, Supply Chain and Technology Strategist, David Brandt, Supply Chain Lead, Intercontinental Markets, GSK and Antony Mullen, VP Operations, Zuellig Pharma, participated in a panel discussion moderated by Brett Marshall, VP Quality Assurance, Zuellig Pharma.

During the session, the speakers discussed current challenges and trends, what the future of supply chain looks like as well as what processes need to be in place to continue building resilient supply chains.


Session 5: The Economics Of Immunisation: Ensuring Value Amidst Resource Constraints

A series of presentations on the economics of immunisation were shared. Dr Ngim Chun Han, epidemiologist and specialist in clinical quality assurance, kicked off the session with a spirited presentation on addressing safety from a public health perspective, specifically in rolling out mass vaccination programmes.

Professor Kenneth Lee, Professor of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, identified the value of immunisation within healthcare economics and touched on the tools to develop an optimal mix of vaccination strategies to cover different age groups.

Dr Philipp Rösler, ex-Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board at the World Economic Forum, former Vice-Chancellor and ex-Federal Minister of Economics and Technology and former Federal Minister of Health Germany shared his thoughts on the international handling of the pandemic and what needs to be done to be sustainably prepared for future pandemics.


Session 6: Accelerating Herd Immunity In Asia Through Scientific Innovation And Private-Public Partnerships

The final session of the summit saw keynotes delivered by Professor Pieter Neels, Chair of IABS Human Vaccine Committee, Director of Vaccine Advice BV, Professor Ooi Eng Eong, Co-Director Of Viral Research And Experimental Medicine Centre, Duke-NUS Medical School and Dr Khor Swee Kheng, independent health policies specialist.

Professor Pieter Neels debunked some common myths about vaccine hesitancy and addressed some major questions from the public.

Professor Ooi Eng Eong explained the science behind the vaccines, gave an overview of the latest studies and spoke on how to improve vaccine efficacy and efficiency.

Dr Khor Swee Kheng addressed the various factors behind the public-private partnerships that can help accelerate COVID-19 vaccination programmes in Asia – from research and development, manufacturing and procurement, to delivery and ancillary services.

This was followed by an interactive and engaging panel discussion and Q&A session with all speakers moderated by Dr Puchong Padungsutt, Regional Medical Director, ZP Therapeutics. The panel discussed the topics on the need for more trials on COVID-19, as well as how public-private sector partnerships can be accelerated.