Conversations on Health Care

“Safety Comes First”: FDA Vaccine Advisory Panel’s Dr. Ofer Levy on Rigorous Process Around Vaccine Approval For Kids

This content is provided by Community Health Center, Inc.

This week we speak with Dr. Ofer Levy, Director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and member of the FDA COVID Vaccine Advisory Panel. He talks about the recent decision to reject boosters for all recipients 16 and older, saying they didn’t have enough data for younger populations to make that recommendation. He says the review process for emergency authorization for young children aged 5-to-11 will be thorough, rigorous and transparent to the public. His team is also currently working on developing a COVID vaccine, as well as other vaccines that could be deployed for cancer and even opioid use disorder and fentanyl overdose.

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About Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter

Mark Masselli is the President/CEO of Community Health Center, Inc., Connecticut’s largest and most comprehensive provider of primary health care services for the uninsured and underserved. CHC is located in over 203 cities throughout Connecticut – serving 145,000 patients statewide. Providing medical, dental and behavioral health services, CHC is a nationally recognized innovator in the delivery and the development of primary care services to special populations.

Mark has played an important leadership role as a founding member of many health and human services initiatives in Middletown, including New Horizons Battered Women’s Shelter, Nehemiah Housing Corporation, and Oddfellows Youth Playhouse. In addition to local issues, Mark has worked on a range of international human rights issues. He has worked with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has traveled in Tibet, Nepal, India and China working on the issues facing the Tibetan people. He also was active in the development of the Bishop Tutu Refugee relief agency during the critical years fighting the apartheid system in South Africa. Mark was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by Wesleyan University in 2009 for his work in the Health Care field.

Margaret Flinter is Senior Vice President and Clinical Director of the Community Health Center, Inc. and is a family nurse practitioner by profession. Margaret earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Connecticut, her Master’s Degree from Yale University, and her doctoral degree at the University of Connecticut. She was the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship from 2002-2005.

Following her graduate training at Yale University, Margaret joined the Community Health Center in 1980 as a National Health Service Corps Scholar and CHC’s first nurse practitioner. Since 1987 she has held both clinical and administrative leadership roles in the organization. She recently established the Weitzman Center for Innovation in Community Health and Primary Care as the “research and development” arm of CHC and serves as the Director of the Weitzman Center. Margaret is also the founder of America’s first Nurse practitioner residency program which operates out of the Community Health Center.