Florida doctor was member of national committee on COVID-19 vaccination plans

A Florida doctor was part of a prominent national committee that made recommendations to federal and world leaders on who should get a COVID-19 vaccine first.

Channel 9 spoke with the University of Florida physician about her expertise and how she was chosen to play a part in these big decisions.

Watch: Coronavirus: AstraZeneca says interim analysis shows COVID-19 vaccine 70% effective on average

Day after day, good news is coming out of the COVID-19 vaccine trials.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is 70% effective. Moderna’s vaccine is almost 95%, and Pfizer’s is also at 95%; and both are already seeking emergency FDA approval.

Health care workers and first responders will be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, possibly followed by people with existing health conditions. But who proposed this plan?


Dr. Sonja Rasmussen was part of a small committee formed by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It was really an honor to be part of it,” said Rasmussen.

Watch: Timeline to develop coronavirus vaccines for young children uncertain, doctors say

She and 17 others worked to deliver direction on how the COVID-19 vaccines should be allocated.

Before joining University of Florida Health, Rasmussen spent two decades with the CDC and handled vaccine issues during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009.

Watch: Participant details AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial in Orlando

And all the committee members have different backgrounds. Some have studied racial disparities and tribal communities. Some work with older adults, while others some work with children.

See the full report in the video above.