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October 8, 2020

UMass Medical School professor named to Mass. Vaccine Advisory Group

A UMass Medical School professor and department chair, Dr. Robert Finberg, was among 17 people named to Massachusetts' new Vaccine Advisory Group, the Gov. Charlie Baker Administration announced on Wednesday. 

Dr. Robert Finberg, chair of the UMass Medical School Department of Medicine

The Vaccine Advisory Group will advise the administration, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the COVID-19 Command Center on communication, distribution, and equity issues relating to a COVID-19 vaccines, according to a press release.

Finberg serves as the chair of medicine at UMass Medical School, overseeing the school’s largest department. He has served as chair since 1999. He is currently investigating how the coronavirus is caused and whether there is a possible viral treatment in a study funded by the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness.

The state has been working on vaccine preparedness since early August, according to Baker's press release. The advisory group will further assist in planning and is intended to bolster efforts to equitably allocate, distribute and administer whatever COVID-19 vaccine is ultimately approved.

For a decade, the state has worked to develop its Massachusetts Immunization Information System, which functions as a vaccine registry, ordering system and inventory mechanism. More than 3,000 provider sites report their data to this system, and 1,000 more are currently being onboarded, according to a press release.

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