International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations


Cris’s Story

Vaccine Corporate Affairs

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I’m Cris, and I work in Corporate Affairs in Brazil aiming to support broad and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Over the past two years, most of my working time has been dedicated to making sure the vaccines get to those who need them, supporting officials on the biggest vaccine campaign Brazil - and the world - has ever seen.

I was lucky enough to be there when the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccines arrived. When I saw the first person be vaccinated, I knew it was something I’d never forget. It reminded me of the importance of vaccines, and of preventative medicine in general. If we can prevent a disease, we should, so we can help save lives and help people stay healthy.

How have COVID-19 vaccines helped change lives?

The COVID-19 vaccines rollout is the biggest vaccine effort in history. In just one year, more than 60% of people worldwide received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. It’s something I’ll remember for as long as I live. I’m so grateful for the vaccines as they allowed us to regain our lives again.

Without vaccines, we might still be living like we were at the beginning of the pandemic - spending our days in lockdown at home, homeschooling our kids and unable to travel or visit those we loved. I, like so many others, stopped visiting loved ones to protect them. My grandfather is 95 years old, and I was so worried about him and heartbroken that I couldn’t see him for months. There was a time when I was scared I would never see him again. But I’m relieved to say my grandfather remains healthy and has had every recommended dose of the vaccines. Once my own family were vaccinated, we even got to see him this past January. I hope that, thanks to the efforts of everyone and to vaccination, many other families will be able to visit loved ones once more.

What did COVID-19 teach us about the value of vaccination for all ages?

The COVID pandemic has brought the subject of vaccination to the forefront of most of our daily personal and professional conversations. Before the pandemic, I think many people thought vaccines were something you only got as a child. Now, everyone can see how important they are - not only for our children, but also for our first line responders, our health systems and for people of all ages.

There is also now greater awareness that some people are at higher risk of developing severe illness from diseases like COVID-19, for example those with certain pre-existing medical conditions or the elderly.

It’s my hope that we can help more people, younger and older, realise that vaccines aren’t just for children, for COVID-19 disease or for emergency pandemic situations. There are vaccines for over 30 different diseases – like pneumonia, influenza, meningitis - that can help us all live longer and healthier lives. Just like my own grandfather, who is well into his 90s - and I hope many other grandparents all over the world.

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