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

Flannery B, Chung JR, Thaker SN, Monto AS, Martin ET, Belongia EA, McLean HQ, Gaglani M, Murthy K, Zimmerman RK, Nowalk MP, Jackson ML, Jackson LA, Foust A, Sessions W, Berman L, Spencer S, Fry AM. Interim estimates of 2016-17 seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness - United States, February 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66(6):167-171. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6606a3. PubMed

Jackson ML, Walker R, Lee S, Larson E, Dublin S. Reply to: quality indicators of drug use and the risk of pneumonia in older adults without dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Feb 7. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14736. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Kharbanda EO, Vazquez-Benitez G, Romitti PA, Naleway AL, Cheetham TC, Lipkind HS, Sivanandam S, Klein NP, Lee GM, Jackson ML, Hambidge SJ, Olsen A, McCarthy N, DeStefano F, Nordin JD. Identifying birth defects in automated data sources in the Vaccine Safety Datalink. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2017 Apr;26(4):412-420. doi: 10.1002/pds.4153. Epub 2017 Jan 4. PubMed

Ferdinands JM, Fry AM, Reynolds S, Petrie J, Flannery B, Jackson ML, Belongia EA. Intraseason waning of influenza vaccine protection: evidence from the US Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network, 2011-12 through 2014-15. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Dec 29. pii: ciw816. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw816. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Zimmerman RK, Nowalk MP, Chung J, Jackson ML, Jackson LA, Petrie JG, Monto AS, McLean HQ, Belongia EA, Gaglani M, Murthy K, Fry AM, Flannery B. 2014-2015 influenza vaccine effectiveness in the United States by vaccine type. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Dec 15;63(12):1564-1573. Epub 2016 Oct 4. PubMed

Hutcheon JA, Fell DB, Jackson ML, Kramer MS, Ortiz JR, Savitz DA, Platt RW. Hutcheon et al. respond to "maternal influenza immunization and birth outcomes". Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Oct 26. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Flannery B, Zimmerman RK, Gubareva LV, Garten RJ, Chung JR, Nowalk MP, Jackson ML, Jackson LA, Monto AS, Ohmit SE, Belongia EA, McLean HQ, Gaglani M, Piedra PA, Mishin VP, Chesnokov AP, Spencer S, Thaker SN, Barnes JR, Foust A, Sessions W, Xu X, Katz J, Fry AM. Enhanced genetic characterization of influenza A(H3N2) viruses and vaccine effectiveness by genetic group, 2014-2015. J Infect Dis. 2016 Oct 1;214(7):1010-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw181. Epub 2016 May 6. PubMed

Vazquez-Benitez G, Kharbanda EO, Naleway AL, Lipkind H, Sukumaran L, McCarthy NL, Omer SB, Qian L, Xu S, Jackson ML, Vijayadev V, Klein NP, Nordin JD. Risk of preterm or small-for-gestational-age birth after influenza vaccination during pregnancy: caveats when conducting retrospective observational studies. Am J Epidemiol. 2016;184(3):176-86. doi: 10.1093/aje/kww043. Epub 2016 Jul 22. PubMed

Jackson ML, Walker R, Lee S, Larson E, Dublin S. Predicting 2-year risk of developing pneumonia in older adults without dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Jul;64(7):1439-47. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14228. PubMed

Hutcheon JA, Fell DB, Jackson ML, Kramer MS, Ortiz JR, Savitz DA, Platt RW. Detectable risks in studies of the fetal benefits of maternal influenza vaccination. Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Jun 30. pii: kww048. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

Research

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Healthy findings blog

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

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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