Durban, South Africa, June 2019
The Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group (VARG) seeking to strengthen existing and identify new partnerships to grow its work, expand its footprint and deliver on its global mandate is pleased to announce, on the eve of the 9thSouth African AIDS Conference, it’s transition to a fully independent, activist led, legal entity. Registered as a non for profit organization, the VARG intends to build on its historical work that focused on strengthening the capacity of and linkages between advocates and scientists engaged in vaccine research, the realisation of a universal standard of care in trial research, and ultimately shifting the community engagement approach from “buy in” to “ownership”.
The vaccine field is rapidly evolving and the need for sustainable, conscious, knowledgeable and strategic advocacy initiatives and partnerships is essential. It is important for vaccine-specific advocacy to be situated within the broader advocacy agenda for ending disease, especially within national and international prevention campaigns. The VARG plays a critical role to these ends. As a result, the VARG has organically emerged as an independent advocacy voice in areas key to vaccine research, development and advocacy.
Conceptualized in 2013 by advocates in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Thailand, USA and France, in partnership with AVAC and after an assessment was conducted in key countries about needs for community and stakeholder engagement in clinical vaccine trials. AVAC provided seed support until September 2018, a role that has been fulfilled since then by activist led consultancy, the African Alliance, to address the need to build stronger mechanisms for long-term advocacy and stakeholder support and involvement in areas close to vaccine research, development and advocacy.Today, we seek and create opportunities to advance a vaccine research and development advocacy agenda that promotes ethical considerations, community ownership of research and human rights principles. These goals are articulated in the VARG’s strategic plan .
+27 73 432 4069