At War With COVID-19

May 26, 2020 by  
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Despite heightened tensions between countries over the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we face a common enemy incapable of negotiation.

Professor Sharon Lewin

This was the starting point of a fascinating webinar convened by Hadassah Australia and the Hadassah Australia Medical Research and Collaboration Foundation.

Held on May 21, more than 500 people from 19 countries registered to hear from some of the most informed voices in Australia and Israel.

Titled ‘COVID-19: Can we win the war?’, the webinar was moderated by high-profile ABC health journalist Dr Norman Swan. Panellists were Prof Sharon Lewin, director of the Doherty Institute, Dr Russell Basser Head of Research at Sequiris, the world’s second-largest flu vaccine manufacturer and Prof Eyal Mishani, head of R & D at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

Each speaker brought their specific learnings to the webinar which ranged across identifying the differences between COVID-19 and influenza, the different research models that are being used globally to identify a possible vaccine, clinical trials being undertaken at Hadassah and the need to limit the effects of a second wave of the virus which could be more devastating than the first.


Acknowledging the similarities between the Australian and Israeli experience,  the speakers agreed that the way forward is to share knowledge and experience and to enrich each other with ideas.  It will also be necessary to create multi-centre clinical trials that can be validated allowing researchers to learn from them.

“The sheer size of the audience gives some indication as to why online programs like this webinar are so important to understanding how the global community is working collectively to find solutions to this terrible disease,” says Ron Finkel AM, Chair of Hadassah Australia.

“We will be expanding the HAMRC webinar series because information is the most powerful weapon we have to keep people safe.”

Report from: Michael Krape

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