José Manuel Barroso, board chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is working to ensure global, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Barroso joins Washington Post Live to discuss navigating the global vaccine divide, rising coronavirus cases in Europe and how global health leaders are preparing for the next pandemic.


“Not completely blocking travel, I think it’s probably not necessary. With vaccination and with… PCR tests… I think we should continue to have free travel provided of course that travelers show they are vaccinated and that they have made recent PCR test and that they are not infected.” (Washington Post Live)
“If you have more boosters, you have less for the rest. But… you are seeing an increase in production. So hopefully there will be enough doses for boosters… but also for delivery in the so-called global south.” (Washington Post Live)
“The last figures I have are 586 million doses already shipped, ordered 760 million doses, and allocated 1.4 billion doses… It’s under the initial objective.” (Washington Post Live)
“Looking retrospectively, probably yes it was too ambitious. Or probably a little naïve… A problem was… the terrible pandemic in India because India was the biggest producer of vaccines in the world, it’s a powerhouse for vaccine production. But when the pandemic attained such a huge dimension, tragic dimension in India, the government of India focused vaccines produced there… for their own population… I believe that we should do more to support global diversification all over the world. We need that.” (Washington Post Live)
“I’m used to the 0-20, I would give 14 to 15… It would probably be a ‘B’ in America, ‘B+,’ so not perfect.” (Washington Post Live)

José Manuel Barroso

Provided by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance.

Since January 2021, José Manuel Barroso is Gavi’s Board Chair. He served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 2002–2004 and as President of the European Commission from 2004-2014, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the European Union in 2012. He is currently non-executive Chairman of London-based Goldman Sachs International.

Barroso is also a Visiting Professor at Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Director of the Center for European Studies at its Institute for Political Studies. He is a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and teaches at the School of Transnational Governance of the European University Institute in Florence. He is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University. He has published several books and articles in academic journals on political science and international relations.

Barroso graduated in Law, and has a Master in Law from the University of Lisbon, as well as a Master in Economic and Social Sciences/Political Science from the University of Geneva. He also holds a post-graduate diploma from the University Institute of European Studies in Geneva.

Barroso has received numerous honorary distinctions from countries around the world. Among these, there are 35 decorations, including from Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.