In this video interview, we discuss vaccine hesitancy, first in measles as a historical backdrop, then for a potential or soon-to-be FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Abram Wagner, research assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan, joins us to discuss recent research on vaccine hesitancy. His research looks at evidence-based programs and policies to control vaccine-preventable diseases. He currently holds a grant from the National Science Foundation that looks at behaviors and acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine over time and across several regions, including the United States, India, and Taiwan.
In this video interview, we are joined by Dr. Niema Moshiri, assistant teaching professor of computer science & engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He discusses how scientists are using the genetic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 to study viral transmission patterns and the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. He currently holds a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop novel software and hardware systems that can quickly analyze massive amounts of genetic data from COVID-19 labs around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has often been compared with prior infectious disease outbreaks, such as those caused by SARS, Ebola, MERS, H1N1, and the 1918 influenza virus. In the past, the spread of a virus could often be contained with public health tools alone (e.g. SARS outbreak in 2002-2004). These tools have become familiar to the public and include “containment” strategies such as testing, contact tracing, & quarantine, and “mitigation” strategies such as hand hygiene, masking, & social distancing .