“A Hope in A Vial” was the first online course event held last March 31, 2021 sponsored by the College of Pharmacy, Riyadh Elm University. The course was presented by two prominent international speakers in the field of pharmaceutical engineering and administration, Siegfried Schmitt, Ph.D., Vice President of Parexel International, Quality Director of GE Healthcare, Auditor and Consultant for Good Pharmacovigilance Practice, and Mohamed Hafez, Ph.D. Director, Canadian Academy of Research and Development, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Therapeutics, Canadian Board Certified Clinical Pharmacist.

Dr. Mohamed Hafez started his session by brief historical background on the development of vaccines, then he described the process for development of a successful vaccine.  The speaker also describe the pathogenesis of COVID 19 infections and described the strategies for therapeutic targets. In the end, Dr. Mohamed discussed vaccines technologies in manufacturing COVID 19 vaccines and the future targets and challenges related to their development.

At the end of his session Dr. Mohamed welcomed questions raised by the audience related to COVID 19 Variants, Vaccines safety and stability and targeted population for vaccination, age and how soon children vaccines will be available in the market.

The next session was headed by Dr. Siegfried Schmitt, who started his session with giving an overview on the expedited regulatory approval process for vaccines, and how the pandemic had tremendously affected the speed of processing and manufacturing of vaccines.  Then he explained the guidelines, polices and regulatory flexibility for approval for use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and addition of stockpile drug from domestic and foreign sources that had being facilitated.

Dr. Schmitt later discussed the COVID 19 vaccines approval and development status and how pharmaceutical companies together with administrators are enhancing vaccine platforms in information processing, process development, manufacturing and distribution. Finally he gave an overview about the future vaccines, and possible alternative dosage forms and rout of administration.

At the end of the session, Dr. Schmitt welcomed questions related to distribution, role of regulatory bodies in distribution and making sure vaccines reach different communities, and the need to vaccinate the whole population, and new vaccines dosage forms and stability.

The course was attended by pharmacy undergraduates and graduate students, alumni, faculty and pharmacists.  A total of participants joined the course from the university, hospitals, and ministry of health. It was a successful course of the CE Center. Certificates were distributed and CPD credit hours were submitted to the SCHS at the end of the course.

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