Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Daniel Polsky of Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School and Bloomberg School of Public Health has been named to a committee that will advise policymakers in the United States and abroad on how to equitably distribute vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the illness COVID-19.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the National Academy of Medicine formed the committee following a request from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The committee met for the first time virtually July 24.
Among the factors to be examined by the committee are disparities in population health; individuals facing higher risk because of health status, occupation, or living conditions; and the geographic distribution of the active virus. The group also will consider how vaccines can be made accessible to communities of color in the U.S. and suggest ways to overcome vaccine reluctance among Americans.
"While there has been a worldwide effort to accelerate development of safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, there will inevitably be limited doses available for the first several months," said NAM President Victor J. Dzau. "We are pleased to be able to mobilize expertise quickly to respond to the government's request for an independent study of priority-setting for the equitable allocation of potential vaccines for SARS-CoV-2."
Polsky, an expert in health care policy and health economics, is one of 15 members of the committee. The group is co-chaired by William Foege, emeritus presidential distinguished professor of international health at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health, and Helene Gayle, president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust. The group includes experts from a wide range of disciplines, including global and domestic public health, vaccinology, epidemiology, health equity and disparities, health economics, obstetrics and pediatrics, ethics, legal and regulatory issues, occupational health, operations and systems research, and community engagement and risk communication.
Later this summer, the committee will put out a draft report for public comment and discuss its recommendations at a public workshop. The report's final version is to be released early this fall.