Tuesday, September 21st 2021 (17:00 - 18:00)



Organised by

IDDI - International Drug Development Institute


Learn on the central role of Biostatistics in the COVID-19 Pandemia, and the multidisciplinary nature of pandemic response

During the webinar, the participant will:

  • Be exposed in an intuitive and non-technical way to statistical and epidemiological tools and technique useful

  • in monitoring and managing the COVID-19 pandemic;

  • Get insight into the multidisciplinary nature of pandemic response;

  • Get insight in the interplay between scientists, policy makers, media, and the public opinion;

  • Become familiar with important lessons learned for the future, starting from the current pandemic, and occasionally from past pandemics, such as the Spanish Flu.


The COVID-19 pandemic, induced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is literally a rare event in the course of history. We need to go back to 1918 for an even worse pandemic, the Spanish Flu, or H1N1, although we also had the tuberculosis pandemic in the interbellum; there was the Russian flu in 1890 (maybe also a coronavirus and not influenza), and the plague that literally haunted the world for several centuries.

When there are no antiviral means to speak of, and in the absence of vaccines, time-honored non-pharmaceutical interventions enter stage. Apart from controlling the epidemic, for better or for worse, they generate side effects, for society, its well-being, and for the economy. Based on data and imperfect evidence, the biostatistician contributes to understanding what has happened and is happening, is able to separate signal from noise in predictions for the short- and mid-term future.

Biostatisticians can, and actually should play a role in the response to the COVID-19 crisis, ranging from mathematical and statistical modeling, over day-to-day monitoring, to scientific and government committee work and policy making. We place the mathematical and statistical work done against the background of its use towards policy making, public communication, and outreach in real time. Attention is given to the post-pandemic era, in terms of pandemic preparedness.