Driving Global Health: Romain Grosjean announces his support for the WHO Foundation

The diagnostics pillar, co-convened by the Global Fund and FIND, is focused on ensuring equitable access to new and existing tests, supporting country uptake and deployment and strengthening the diagnostic portfolio with R&D investments in low-cost, easy-to-use and quality tests. In 2021, it is focused on procuring and distributing at least 900 million molecular and AG-RDTs to LMICs.
The therapeutics pillar is led by Unitaid and Wellcome. Therapeutics can play a role in all stages of COVID-19 disease: to prevent infection; suppress symptoms and spread of infection to others; treat or prevent symptoms; as a life-saving treatment for severe symptoms; and as a treatment that can speed up recovery. The aim in the next 12 months is to develop, manufacture and distribute millions of treatment doses, helping COVID-19 sufferers to recover from the disease.
The vaccines pillar, co-convened by CEPI, Gavi and WHO, is speeding up the search for an effective vaccine for all countries. At the same time, it is supporting the building of manufacturing capabilities, and buying supply, ahead of time so that at least 2 billion doses can be fairly distributed to the most high risk and highly exposed populations globally by the end of 2021.
The health systems connector pillar, led by the World Bank, the Global Fund and WHO, is working to ensure that these tools can reach the people who need them.
Cross-cutting all of these is the workstream on Access & Allocation, led by the WHO.
Since April 2020, the ACT-Accelerator has supported the fastest, most coordinated, and successful global effort in history to develop tools to fight a disease. With significant advances in research and development by academia, private sector and government initiatives, the ACT-Accelerator has advanced our understanding of what works to fight the disease. It has transformed our ability to tackle COVID-19 on a global scale: vaccines are being rolled-out worldwide, low-cost high-performing antigen rapid diagnostic tests can now detect transmission anywhere, affordable therapy for severe disease can save lives in any setting, and health systems are being strengthened.

WHO is committed to updating its policy guidance whenever relevant new information has been obtained through the use of the vaccine in populations around the world and new results from clinical research.

Accordingly, new data continues to regularly emerge from ongoing clinical trials and monitoring on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine and other vaccines. On the basis of this additional evidence, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization has updated its interim guidance on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines against COVID-19 that are produced by different manufacturers (Astra Zeneca-Vaxzevria, Serum Institute India SII Covishield, and SK Bioscience).

WHO continues to support the conclusion that the benefits of these vaccines outweigh the risks. Pursuant to the latest data, further clarification of precautions and types of risk (ie. Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome) has been added. More data have been obtained on the effectiveness of the vaccines in different population groups, such as older adults, making the evidence base more robust. Clarifications and specifications have been added as to the vaccination of specific population groups (pregnant and lactating women, person with previous SARS-CoV2 infection and others).

The changes to these Interim Recommendations apply to multiple sections of the document. The updated version is available here.

The SAGE Working Group on COVID-19 Vaccines will continue to evaluate available data and modify the guidance as required.

Romain Grosjean, French-Swiss professional racing driver competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for 2021 is announcing his support for the WHO Foundation, an independent grant-making Foundation which supports the work of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Romain will race with the WHO Foundation logo prominently displayed on his race suit and helmet this year.

Grosjean notes, “I am proud to support the important work of the WHO Foundation and WHO. Global health matters now more than ever and I am excited to use my voice to help raise awareness for key health issues of our time.”

After recovering from a devastating crash at the Formula 1 World Championship race at the Bahrain International Circuit in November, Grosjean is determined to support critical health priorities including the global response to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grosjean understands first-hand the importance of safety and resilience and is teaming up with the WHO Foundation to promote preparedness activities that ensure health for all.

“Romain is an inspiration to anyone who faces a challenge. We are thrilled to share his incredible reach and unique story with the WHO Foundation community to help engage the world of sports in global health priorities.” says Anil Soni, Chief Executive Officer of the WHO Foundation.

On 6 April 2021, International Day of Sports for Peace & Development, Grosjean and Soni partook in an Instagram live hosted by WHO to discuss sports, community, global health, vaccine equity and the path ahead of us.

Grosjean will be supporting the WHO Foundation in their upcoming vaccine equity campaign by amplifying key messages and encouraging his community to participate in the global fight to end the pandemic.

Editors notes:
Images of Romain Grosjean’s race suit showing the WHO Foundation logo can be downloaded

The WHO Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation, based in Geneva, that sets out to protect the health and well-being of everyone in every part of the world, working alongside the World Health Organization and the global health community. It aims to support donors, scientists, experts, implementing partners, and advocates around the world in rapidly finding new and better solutions to the most pressing global health challenges of today and tomorrow. The Foundation targets evidence-based initiatives that support WHO in delivering Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 (To ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all). It is focused on reducing health risks, averting pandemics, better managing diseases, and creating stronger health systems. It tackles these areas by building awareness and supporting its partners, including WHO, so that every life is invested in and the world is ready for any health emergency that may arise. WHO Foundation. Together we