This week @Vaccines is in the hands of Helen Matzger, a Senior Program Officer on the Vaccine Delivery Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Helen concentrates on 3 specific vaccines: rotavirus, cholera and Ebola. She works within the foundation to ensure thinking around vaccine attributes related to successful delivery (everything from the size of the vial and cold chain requirements to eventual supply capacity and price) is incorporated early into foundation supported vaccine candidates. She also works with external partners to understand demand and accelerate access to new vaccines.
Helen got interested in public health because she had an interest in rock climbing and took Hindi in college to climb in the Himalayas. Hindi led to lots of courses in South Asian studies and an introduction to global health issues. By the time she graduated with her MPH from the University of Michigan she was no longer rock climbing but ended up living and working on public health projects (nutritional surveillance, water sanitation, visceral leishmaneisis) in India and Bangladesh for many years. She has been working at the foundation on vaccine delivery since 2011.
Over the years Helen has been fascinated by how much she can learn on Twitter about her vaccines of interest (via Tweetdeck) and how effective it has been to get news out on them (@helenmatzger). She’s looking forward to curating @Vaccines for a week.