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SEPT. 11, 2021

President Piñera meets with COVID-19 vaccine researchers and announces an agreement with the University of Oxford

The agreement will allow for cooperation on the study of new COVID-19 variants. President Piñera also met with the architect of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Sarah Gilbert.

On Saturday, the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, announced an agreement between Chile’s Public Health Institute (ISP) and the University of Oxford to collaborate on the analysis of the evolution of the COVID-19 virus and its traceability throughout the world. 

During his visit to the United Kingdom, President Piñera met with Dr. Sarah Gilbert, architect of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and Sir Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, who are responsible for developing the vaccine. 

“We have signed a collaboration agreement between Chile’s Public Health Institute and the University of Oxford to carry out virus genome sequencing, its coding, its genetics and its DNA, so that we can see what lies ahead,” the President explained. He was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Andrés Allamand and the Chilean Ambassador to the United Kingdom, David Gallagher. 

The agreement will allow the ISP to participate as a partner in the testing and evaluation of the results of the Global Pathogen Analysis System (GPAS), which establishes a common global standard for assembling and analyzing this new virus. 

This agreement will strengthen the ISP’s COVID-19 genomic surveillance activities via a global bioinformatic analysis platform, which aims to streamline high-security response capabilities for lineage assignment, identifying variants of concern and interest and tracking outbreaks around the world. 

The Global Pathogen Analysis System will help establish a common global standard for assembling and analyzing this new virus. It will contribute valuable epidemiological information for decision making and will incorporate data analysis of other important public health pathogens in the future. 

The Oxford Vaccine Group, part of the pediatrics department at the University of Oxford, conducts research that has allowed for the development and improvement of vaccines for children and adults.