Michael L. Jackson, PhD, MPH

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“I study the benefits of vaccines and the impact that vaccination programs can have on protecting communities from infectious diseases. I aim to help people make informed decisions about immunizations for themselves and their children.”

Michael L. Jackson, PhD, MPH

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Michael L. Jackson, PhD, MPH, focuses on understanding how infectious diseases spread, and on designing and evaluating interventions such as vaccination programs. Dr. Jackson is the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) principal investigator for the United States Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (US Flu VE) Network. Using information from five sites across the country, including Kaiser Permanente Washington, this network aims to provide ongoing evaluations of the U.S. influenza vaccination program. Dr. Jackson uses data from this network to study influenza vaccine effectiveness, to estimate the burden of disease caused by influenza, and to advance the methodology of vaccine effectiveness studies.

In addition, Dr. Jackson is using data collected by the US Flu VE Network to build a simulation model for the spread of influenza, with a specific focus on understanding when new strains of the influenza virus can out-compete existing strains. This work, funded by the National Institutes of Health, aims to improve our ability to correctly choose which strains of the influenza virus to include in seasonal influenza vaccines. He also uses simulation models to predict the impact of vaccination programs on the spread of infectious diseases such as Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and Neisseria meningitidis.

Dr. Jackson is a co-investigator on the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) Project. The VSD, a collaboration among nine U.S. managed care organizations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the world’s premier system for post-licensure studies of vaccine safety. As a VSD co-investigator, Dr. Jackson leads studies of the safety of childhood immunizations and develops methods for using managed care data for vaccine safety studies.

While studying for his PhD at the University of Washington, Dr. Jackson was a graduate research associate with KPWHRI from 2002 to 2007, and then a postdoctoral fellow at KPWHRI from 2007 to 2008. He then spent two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer with the CDC in Atlanta. As an EIS officer, Dr. Jackson helped lead investigations of whooping cough outbreaks and of the 2009 influenza pandemic. He also designed and oversaw an enhanced surveillance system for invasive Hib disease in the U.S. during the 2008–2009 shortage of Hib vaccines. He returned to KPWHRI as an assistant investigator in 2010. He is an affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Texier G, Jackson ML, Siwe L, Meynard JB, Deparis X, Chaudet H. Building test data from real outbreaks for evaluating detection algorithms. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 1;12(9):e0183992. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183992. eCollection 2017. PubMed

Jackson ML, Chung JR, Jackson LA, Phillips CH, Benoit J, Monto AS, Martin ET, Belongia EA, McLean HQ, Gaglani M, Murthy K, Zimmerman R, Nowalk MP, Fry AM, Flannery B. Influenza vaccine effectiveness in the United States during the 2015-2016 season. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(6):534-543. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1700153. PubMed

Chung JR, Flannery B, Zimmerman RK, Nowalk MP, Jackson ML, Jackson LA, Petrie JG, Martin ET, Monto AS, McLean HQ, Belongia EA, Gaglani M, Fry AM. Prior season vaccination and risk of influenza during the 2014-2015 season in the U.S. J Infect Dis. 2017 Jul 15;216(2):284-285. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix286. PubMed

DeSilva M, Vazquez-Benitez G, Nordin JD, Lipkind HS, Klein NP, Cheetham TC, Naleway AL, Hambidge SJ, Lee GM, Jackson ML, McCarthy NL, Kharbanda EO. Maternal Tdap vaccination and risk of infant morbidity. Vaccine. 2017 Jun 22;35(29):3655-3660. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.05.041. Epub 2017 May 25. PubMed

Kharbanda EO, Vazquez-Benitez G, Romitti PA, Naleway AL, Cheetham TC, Lipkind HS, Klein NP, Lee G, Jackson ML, Hambidge SJ, McCarthy N, DeStefano F, Nordin JD, Vaccine Safety Datalink. First trimester influenza vaccination and risks for major structural birth defects in offspring. J Pediatr. 2017 May 24. pii: S0022-3476(17)30586-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.04.039. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Ortiz JR, Jackson ML, Hombach J. Announcing the publication of a WHO guide to the design and interpretation of observational influenza vaccine effectiveness studies. Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Jul 15;65(2):352. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix339 PubMed

Ferdinands JM, Foppa IM, Fry AM, Flannery BL, Belongia EA, Jackson ML. Re: "invited commentary: beware the test-negative design". Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Apr 1;185(7):613. doi: 10.1093/aje/kww227.

Jackson ML, Fry AM, Katz MA, Lara C, Skowronski DM, Sur D, Victor JC, Zanab SMA. Evaluation of influenza vaccine effectiveness: a guide to the design and interpretation of observational studies. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Daley MF, Glanz JM, Newcomer SR, Jackson ML, Groom HC, Lugg MM, McLean HQ, Klein NP, Weintraub ES, McNeil MM. Assessing misclassification of vaccination status: implications for studies of the safety of the childhood immunization schedule. Vaccine. 2017 Apr 4;35(15):1873-1878. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.02.058. Epub 2017 Mar 9. PubMed

Ferdinands JM, Foppa IM, Fry AM, Flannery BL, Belongia EA, Jackson ML. Re: "invited commentary: beware the test-negative design". Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Mar 1:1. doi: 10.1093/aje/kww227. [Epub ahead of print]. No abstract available. PubMed

 

Research

Chart showing lives saved with vaccination for 10 pathogens

The impact of vaccines: Millions of lives saved

Vaccines given in last 20 years could prevent 50 million deaths in 112 countries

Healthy findings blog

Flu Season illustration young woman looking at phone screen mask and virus illustrations

COVID-19 and flu: What to expect this winter

Answers to 4 questions about COVID-19 and this season's flu, from KPWHRI's Michael Jackson, PhD, MPH.

Healthy Findings Blog

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The next stage in COVID-19 vaccine research

In a JAMA Viewpoint, Dr. Mike Jackson plans ahead to meet the challenges of continuing to evaluate new vaccines.

KPWHRI In the Media

Does COVID-19 affect the flu season?

Flu rates plummet in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic

Verywell Health, Jan. 13, 2021

Influenza

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Flu shot Q & A: Does COVID-19 change our approach?

KPWHRI’s Michael L. Jackson, PhD, MPH, talks about influenza vaccine research in the age of the pandemic.

KPWHRI In the Media

Flu shot Q & A: Does COVID-19 change our approach?

How effective is the flu vaccine?

WebMD, Sept. 2, 2020