President and Dean Alicia Ouellette is among a notable group of experts advising New York State on its COVID-19 vaccination program.
Governor Andrew Cuomo ’82 announced the formation of the Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force on September 24. Its members—authorities in public health, bioethics, immunizations, government operations, data, and other relevant fields—are helping guide the state's framework for setup and operation ahead of an approved vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
"Ensuring the safe and effective distribution of a vaccine is of the utmost importance. I am honored to serve on this task force and contribute to its important work on behalf of all New Yorkers," Dean Ouellette said.
Gov. Cuomo released the state's draft COVID-19 Vaccination Program on October 18. The document calls for administration of the vaccine in multiple phases, with priority given to high-risk populations and essential health care workers. The program "is designed to be flexible and account for multiple variables and scenarios regarding vaccine availability, timeline for vaccine approval, delineation of federal and state responsibilities, funding, supply chain needs, and allocation requirements," the Governor's Office said in a statement.
An internationally recognized bioethics expert, Dean Ouellette is the author of BIOETHICS AND DISABILITY: TOWARD A DISABILITY CONSCIOUS BIOETHICS (Cambridge University Press). In September 2019 she participated in an assembly on bioethics and disability at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, at the invitation of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.