HHD deans lecture series graphic in blue
Published on: Sep 8, 2021

The College of Health and Human Development Dean’s Lecture Series will host a special event focused on vaccine hesitancy.

Delivered by Daniel Salmon, professor of international health and health, behavior and society and director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, the lecture “Missed Opportunities with COVID-19 Vaccination – Maybe it’s not too Late” will be held at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 15, via Zoom Webinar.

About ‘Missed Opportunities with COVID-19 Vaccination – Maybe it’s not too Late’

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous human and economic impact. Decades of scientific advances led to several vaccines being available at unprecedented speed, an opportunity to demonstrate the tremendous power of vaccines to the American public and the world. Operation Warp Speed achieved its goal of making a vaccine available to everyone who wants one. However, the assumption that ‘if we build it they will come’ was shortsighted. 

Vaccines don’t save lives. Vaccination saves lives. With an abundance of vaccine available in the United States, about 75% of Americans have a least one vaccine dose as virus case numbers have increased this summer. The geographic and social clustering of under-vaccination furthers the need for very high levels of vaccine coverage to control the pandemic and return to normal social and economic life. Despite these challenges, there may still be opportunities to achieve high levels of vaccine uptake.

“Missed Opportunities with COVID-19 Vaccination – Maybe it’s not too Late” will review the trajectory and distribution of COVID-19 immunization uptake in the United States, summarize existing evidence-based factors known to influence vaccine coverage, discuss the role of perceptions of vaccine safety in vaccine hesitancy, and explore the pros and cons of options for promoting increased COVID-19 immunization coverage in the U.S.

Salmon’s primary research and practice interest is optimizing the prevention of childhood infectious diseases through the use of vaccines. Salmon is broadly trained in vaccinology, with an emphasis in epidemiology, behavioral epidemiology, and health policy. His focus has been on post-licensure vaccine safety, determining the individual and community risks of vaccine refusal, understanding factors that impact vaccine acceptance, evaluating and improving state laws providing exemptions to school immunization requirements, developing systems and science in vaccine safety, and communicating vaccine risk effectively.

Salmon has considerable experience developing surveillance systems, using surveillance data for epidemiological studies, and measuring immunization coverage through a variety of approaches. He has worked with state, federal and global public-health authorities to strengthen immunization programs and pandemic planning.

About the event and series

The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Salmon moderated by Craig J. Newschaffer, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development and host of the series.

Participants are invited to join this live event and encouraged to participate in the question-and-answer session. The lecture will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date.

Launched in spring 2020, the Dean’s Lecture Series features nationally recognized researchers who share their work and commentary on important issues of the day to catalyze conversation, new thinking and advancement of scholarship.

Additional lectures, including recordings of previous lectures, are available at hhd.psu.edu/Deans-Lecture-Series.