December 22, 2021

Public Health Spotlight: Dr. Sara Oliver

Sara Oliver, MD

Sara Oliver, MD, MPH, serves as the Lead for the COVID-19 vaccines ACIP Work Group and is a Medical Officer in the Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). She has been working on the COVID-19 pandemic since January of 2020 and officially transitioned to work on COVID-19 vaccine policy full time within the Division of Viral Diseases at CDC.

Dr. Oliver is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Disease. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, completed a Pediatrics residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and a Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In 2015, Dr. Oliver came to the CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer, with the Division of STD Prevention and Division of Viral Diseases, working on HPV and other infections. After EIS, she joined the Division of Bacterial Diseases as a medical officer in the Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch and is now a CDC Subject Matter Expert for COVID-19 vaccine policy.

In this role, Dr. Oliver has been Lead for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group, a federal advisory committee comprised of over 50 external excerpts in infectious disease, vaccinology, vaccine safety and ethics. She has organized, led, and presented at 23 national emergency ACIP meetings since June 2020, resulting in recommendations for initial allocations of COVID-19 vaccines, recommendations for use of mRNA and adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccines, and conducted benefit-risk assessments after identification of safety signals with COVID-19 vaccines. During the last 12-months alone, Dr. Oliver has presented at 16 public ACIP meetings (the number of ACIP meetings typically held in a five-year period), with US and international viewership between 20-50,000 people. She has also been first author or senior author on 13 COVID-19 MMWR Policy Notes.

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