Director, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
Health & Medicine
Professor and Chair, Department of Humanities
Health & Medicine
Associate Professor of Biology
Health & Medicine, Agriculture
James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects
Social Sciences, Journalism & Media, Telecommunications
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Health & Medicine, Law and Policy, Politics & Policy
As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out across the United States, questions related to vaccine safety and effectiveness, side effects, variants, vaccine hesitancy and misinformation on social media, remain top of mind for many Americans.
Penn State researchers bring their deep knowledge in their fields of expertise to bear on these questions, providing simple explanations to the complex issues we face with these vaccines. Our experts are readily available to offer their insights during the pandemic’s constantly shifting landscape.
Contact Andrew Read with questions about: various aspects of SARS-CoV-2 mutation and evolution; the likelihood that SARS-CoV-2 could evolve resistance to the COVID-19 vaccines and what may be done to prevent such an outcome; the potential ramifications of imperfect vaccination coverage due to the failure of the vaccine to prevent transmission or of patients to get their second booster shots, for example; how new strains of the virus may affect vaccination strategies and effectiveness; and antibiotic and vaccine resistance, generally.
Contact Bernice Hausman with questions about: vaccine hesitancy and the COVID-19 pandemic, the demographic factors influencing opposition to the recently released COVID-19 vaccine, and the cultural factors that form the principles behind vaccine resistance and refusal. She can be consulted about the history of vaccine resistance, vaccine mandates, and controversies about vaccine injury. She can also speak more generally about the origins of and factors contributing to the public's mistrust in science and medicine.
Contact Maciej Boni with questions about: the various modeling efforts underway to predict the spread of SARS-CoV-2; the effectiveness of the current COVID-19 vaccines, including the extent of vaccination coverage that may be required across the population to achieve herd immunity; the projected healthcare impacts of COVID-19 based on the virus's infection rate at any given point; and modeling and projections for disease spread, generally.
Contact S. Shyam Sundar with questions about: the rampant misinformation and fake news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccines, in particular, as well as how trustworthy internet-based information sources can be identified.
Contact Simon Haeder with questions about: COVID-19 vaccine policy implementation, equity issues related to vaccine distribution, and whether companies and schools should require employees and students to be vaccinated. He can also discuss the ways in which partisan politics challenge our handling of this national health emergency, Finally, Haeder can comment on U.S. healthcare system policies and preparedness, generally.