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Phone: 202-994-6460
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E-mail: [email protected]


George Washington University Public Health/Medical Experts Available for Media Interviews on COVID-19 Vaccine

December 16, 2020

WASHINGTON (Dec. 16, 2020)On Dec. 17, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel is expected to review the data on the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, paving the way for approval. Researchers at the George Washington University led one of the 100 clinical sites testing the Moderna vaccine and can talk about its safety, efficacy and what comes next on the research front.

In addition, GW has the following experts who can talk about the distribution of the vaccine, herd immunity, vaccine hesitancy and other topics. GW can also arrange for interviews with GW health care workers who received the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on December 14.

To schedule an interview with an expert or a GW health care worker, please contact GW Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-994-6460. To read an FAQ about the GW Moderna vaccine trial, click here.

Moderna Vaccine Trial and Vaccine Development 

David Diemert, MD, principal investigator for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial at GW and a professor of medicine, can speak to COVID-19 vaccines, how they work and the scientific process behind creating these and other vaccines.

Marc Siegel, MD, co-principal investigator for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial at GW and an associate professor of medicine, is an infectious disease expert who can speak to COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and distribution.

Elissa Malkin, DO, MPH, co-investigator for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial at GW and an assistant research professor of medicine, can speak to the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials and how these vaccines work.

Manya Magnus, PhD, MPH, co-investigator for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial at GW and a professor of epidemiology, can talk about COVID-19 vaccines and the site’s recruitment of minorities. She can also discuss how deep ties to the Washington, D.C. community helped the team allay concerns about participation in a clinical trial.

Distribution, Access and Policy Issues 

Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MS, MPH, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Milken Institute School of Public Health, is an expert on emergency/public health preparedness and has deep knowledge of the intersection of policy and public health. She can talk about COVID-19 prevention strategies including vaccines, distribution, access and ways to protect society’s most vulnerable populations.

Leana Wen, MD, MSc, a visiting professor of health policy and management, is an expert on governmental response to public health crises. An emergency physician and formerly the Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore, Wen can discuss the medical and public response to the outbreak, including the use of vaccines.

Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy, is an expert on how policy decisions, such as cuts to Medicaid, community health centers and vaccine distribution to disadvantaged communities, including immigrant and minority neighborhoods. Professor Rosenbaum is a leading public health law scholar who has devoted her career to issues such as health justice and the safety net system for medically underserved populations. She can also talk about the cost of COVID-19 vaccines.

Jeffrey Levi, PhD, a professor of health policy and management, is an expert on how policy decisions — such as cuts to public health funding, Medicaid and the public charge rule — could hamper the United States’ ability to respond to the growing COVID-19 situation. For 10 years, he was executive director of Trust for America’s Health, where he led annual assessments of the preparedness of states and the federal government. He can talk about distribution of the vaccine, including the role of health departments.

Melissa Tice, PhD, program director for regulatory affairs and an assistant professor of clinical research and leadership, is an expert on regulatory affairs around vaccine review and approval.

Safety, Efficacy and Global Health

Jon Andrus, MD, an adjunct professor of global health, is an expert on vaccines, immunizations and response to emerging infectious disease threats. He previously served as the deputy director for the Pan American Health Organization, where he handled emergency response and preparedness. He can discuss safety and efficacy, vaccine hesitancy and the need for global coordination.

Christopher Mores, ScD, a professor of global health, is an arbovirologist and an expert on emerging infectious diseases. He can discuss virus transmission patterns and global health security strategies to counter threats posed by COVID-19, including vaccines and how they work.

Workplace Safety

Melissa Perry, PhD, ScD, MHS, is chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. She has conducted significant research on factors in occupational injury and disease, and can discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workplace, including how a COVID-19 vaccine could help keep the workplace safe and help reopen economies.

Tony Yang, ScD, LLM, MPH, a professor of nursing and of health policy and management, is an expert on the effects of law and policy on health care delivery and population health outcomes. He can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an employer requiring workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine Hesitancy and Disinformation

Neil Johnson, PhD, a professor of physics, studies how misinformation evolves and spreads online, especially related to vaccines. His recent work examined the battle between pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination communities on Facebook.

David Broniatowski, PhD, an associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, conducts research on decision making under risk, group decision-making and behavioral epidemiology. His research includes using Twitter data to look at sentiments toward vaccination and the resulting social response.

Jeffrey Bethony, PhD, a professor of microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine, is an expert on vaccine research and development and can speak to COVID-19 vaccine trials, as well as myths and misconceptions around vaccines.