Shaping COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and Practice



Professor Søren Holm’s research on infectious disease control, the ethics of human challenge studies and his critiques of ageing in bioethics have directly shaped COVID-19 vaccination policy and practice in Norway, Denmark and England. Informed by his foundational research on the need to develop evidence-based bioethics, his work has produced substantial health benefits to populations at increased risk of death from COVID-19. His input to the COVID-19 vaccination prioritisation policies of Norway and Denmark resulted in the recognition of older people as deserving highest priority for vaccination. Through his expert appointment by the English Health Research Authority his research was used to (i) develop training which enabled members of a newly constituted Research Ethics Committee to review human challenge studies and (ii) to devise an assessment tool that was applied by the human challenge REC members in appraising and then approving the first, and only, COVID-19 human challenge study.
Impact date2020