Early in the year, when publishing the CIRSE 2021 Preliminary Programme, we informed you that we would aim to decide on the final event format by May at the latest, based on all available information.
Since then, vaccination efforts have speeded up and provided immunisation to a growing part of the population. This has given us reason for hope. However, many factors of the pandemic remain volatile, such as mutations, further infection waves in parts of the world, and governments’ reactions to any perceived threat to the fragile progress made in the fight against the pandemic.
In order to gain an overview of our members’ opinions on in-person meetings in the current situation, we recently conducted a survey in which half of all respondents stated that they were unsure or unlikely to be able to attend CIRSE 2021 in Lisbon.
In light of this feedback from our community as well as the currently unstable situation and subsequent lack of plannability, the CIRSE leadership has decided to hold the CIRSE 2021 Annual Meeting as an online congress from September 25-28.
Building on the success of the CIRSE 2020 Summit, ECIO 2021 and the various large-scale CIRSE webinars that we have already delivered, we know that we will be able to offer the best possible online platform for education and scientific exchange.
We are committed to creating a unique live and on-demand programme with strong interactive components enabling us to share our experiences and come together as a community.
We hope that until the end of 2021, the pandemic will have turned into an epidemic, with only temporary local occurrences of the virus which can be controlled without major measures such as lock-downs or travel restrictions. We are confident that once this is achieved, large indoor gatherings will be possible again. As a medical community, we must do everything we can to work towards this goal rather than adding to the risks of a relapse by organising a large in-person meeting at this point.
The pandemic has shown that the innovative spirit of interventional radiology cannot be stopped. We have continued to provide outstanding service to patients. We have continued to push research and IR applications to new heights, and we will continue to provide the best possible educational opportunities.
We look forward to seeing you all at the CIRSE 2021 Summit, September 25-28, online.