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July 27, 2020

Polsky Named to Panel on Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines

Why it matters:

Daniel Polsky, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor with appointments at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and Bloomberg School of Public Health, joins a panel of experts who will advise policymakers on the fair allocation of vaccines for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

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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 COVID-19 vaccines.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) formed the committee in answer to a request from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The committee was to meet for the first time virtually on July 24, 2020.

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.

Said NAM President Victor J. Dzau: “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. 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.

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Daniel Polsky, PhD

Daniel Polsky is the 40th Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Economics at Johns Hopkins University. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Carey Business School. Dr. Polsky, a national leader in the field of health policy and economics, has dedicated his career to exploring how health care is organized, managed, financed, and delivered, especially for low-income people. His most recent work focuses on how to provide access to quality health care in low-resource settings with a particular interest in narrow provider networks.

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