Health experts from Qatar and around the world will focus on the hopes and fears surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and how the pandemic may unfold in 2021, as Education City Speaker Series returns.

In collaboration with the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), the platform for conversations on the major topics affecting the world will host its first event of the year next week, turning the spotlight on vaccine development and rollout, the emerging new variants of COVID-19, and what the world needs to do to combat and prevent fresh waves of infection.

The virtual discussion is titled, An Injection of Hope: Do Vaccines Mean an End to the Pandemic Is in Sight? and will invite local and global audience to pose questions to leading figures and practitioners in healthcare at a time when, as vaccines begin to be administered around the world, many countries are simultaneously seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Education City Speaker Series 24 Feb speakers

Joining the conversation will be two representatives from the World Health Organization – Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari and Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

They will give their perspectives on vaccines and the path the pandemic may take from here. Other guest speakers include Chairman of Qatar’s National Pandemic Preparedness Committee and Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Hamad Medical Corporation Dr Abdullatif Al Khal and Director-General of the International Vaccine Institute Dr Jerome Kim. The session will be moderated by TV presenter Kirsty Wark.

Continuing to tackle the challenge

In April 2020, during the early weeks of the pandemic, Dr Al Mandhari, Dr Moeti, and Dr Kim participated in the first online edition of the Education City Speaker Series, which focused on the immediate global response to the coronavirus crisis. Ten months on, they are returning to the global platform for dialogue to assess, along with Dr Al Khal, how the world looks now as it continues to tackle the challenge of a lifetime, and what the coming months may hold.

Next week’s discussion will be the seventh online Education City Speaker Series event, after the platform – launched by Qatar Foundation in 2018 – switched to virtual form amid the pandemic. Since then, it has attracted tens of thousands of global viewers for conversations about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, race and identity, the future of education, regenerative development, and how people with disabilities are viewed in society, as well as its first Arabic-only edition, Education City Speaker Series Bel Arabi.

An Injection of Hope: Do Vaccines Mean an End to the Pandemic Is in Sight? will feature a 40-minute discussion followed by a public question-and-answer session. Viewers watching on Microsoft Teams can watch the event with English, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Italian subtitles. The discussion will also be streamed live on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

For more information and to register, visit

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