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School of Public Health
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School of Public Health

Dean Appointed to The National Academies’ COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research and Communications Committee

People holding gears.

Perry N. Halkitis, School of Public Health dean and Hunterdon Professor of Public Health & Health Equity at Rutgers, has been appointed to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (The National Academies) COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research and Communications Committee.

The committee will evaluate the systems, methods, processes, and communications of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Immunization Safety Office regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic. Additionally, the committee will provide recommendations for sustaining, maintaining, and strengthening monitoring systems and communications.

Perry N. Halkitis headshot.
Raymond Clinkscale

“It is an honor to have been selected to serve on this this committee, which will help to inform how we more effectively communicate with populations during public health emergencies,” says Halkitis. “We know that people are not rational beings, so it’s critical that future initiatives and efforts understand the fluid and agile state of human experiences. We need to meet people where they are in order for public health to work. This theme is central to his upcoming book - People & Public Health: How American Created the HIV, COVID-19, and other Modern Dat Pandemics - which will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press next winter."

Beyond monitoring and evaluation, this ad hoc committee will assess the statistical and epidemiological methods and processes employed to detect and analyze potential safety problems with the U.S. COVID-19 vaccines. Moreover, this assessment will catalog the findings from safety monitoring procedures, including pertinent positive and negative findings.

Committee members will also evaluate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s external communications about its safety monitoring systems, the findings of COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring, and vaccination and clinical guidance recommendations to healthcare professionals, public health officials, and the public.

Learn more about the committee here.