Ciro V. Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M.

(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Ciro Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., professor in the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health and holder of the Cox Endowed Chair in Medicine, is one of 15 experts developing clinical recommendations for the influenza H1N1 voluntary vaccination program announced this month by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Sumaya is a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which will convene a special meeting July 29 to review currently available data on H1N1 spread, emerging risk factors, vaccine development and communications strategies. The committee also will provide recommendations for the use of pandemic vaccines for the coming influenza season.

“It is highly important to monitor carefully the spread of this novel strain of influenza virus , changes in its composition and its capacity to cause severe and fatal disease, and know fully which factors place certain people at greater risk,” Dr. Sumaya said. “A vaccine for the H1N1 virus is scheduled to be available before the influenza season.”

Dr. Sumaya was founding dean of the HSC-School of Rural Public Health and administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health spearheading the federal initiative on the Future of Academic Health Centers.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell