While many of us will be taking advantage of a week of vacation and enjoying outdoor activities with our families, we should recall that last year’s spring break in fact ignited the COVID-19 pandemic. What will be its impact on the development of the illness in the province and in Canada this year? It will soon be one year since we have been in lockdown, working remotely and being subject to restrictions that impact our activities and how we get around. New vaccines have already been or are about to be approved, and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just here, in Montréal, it may be possible to manufacture vaccines as long as Novavax obtains regulatory approval for its new vaccine. It’s a new, incredible announcement, for both the population in Québec and Canada, and for the city’s life sciences ecosystem. But no vaccine strategy, regardless of how effective it is, can be relied on alone. We need to proceed with massive diagnostic testing of the population through the use of rapid tests or new-generation PCR tests to control outbreaks as quickly as possible. In addition, we must do everything in our power to accelerate the development of treatments of symptoms related to the infection by this coronavirus. The smart use of this innovative trio will allow us to beat this virus once and for all!

The sharing and analysis of population health data constitute a key factor of success in the development of this winning trio. Without this data, it is difficult to be competitive in an economy that is increasingly based on knowledge. And this is clearly the case in the health sector. Are citizens ready to share their health data to advance science? Do they distinguish between personal health information and aggregate data used in research? How do we promote citizen acceptability in this complex issue? These issues and many others will be addressed in two weeks at EFFERVESCENCE 2021.

Furthermore, the exciting programming of EFFERVESCENCE 2021 is aligned with all relevant issues. The format of the conferences, training sessions, flash presentations, contests, official announcements, etc. will enable you to follow a logical trajectory and enjoy a digital experience at EFFERVESCENCE, that will be everything but boring and stagnant… You will soon be able to create your profile on our meeting platform and plan your B2B meetings.

I hope to see you there!

Frank Béraud