New York Physician Appointed Chair of Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

ALBANY, NY, July 2, 2007 – Dale L. Morse, M.D., Director of the Office of Science and Public Health at the New York State Department of Health, is the new Chair of the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Dr. Morse was appointed by Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to a two-year term effective July 1, 2007. The ACIP, which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccine policy in the United States, consists of 15 experts in fields associated with immunization who have been selected by the HHS Secretary to provide advice and guidance to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the CDC on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases.

"This is a tremendous honor for Dr. Morse, and it reflects well on his scientific integrity and the respect he has among his peers nationally," said state Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "As Chair, Dr. Morse brings a wealth of experience and professionalism to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices."

Dr. Morse said, "I consider it an honor and a privilege to represent the Department and serve on a committee which scientifically reviews and approves vaccines, which have done so much to reduce preventable illnesses and premature deaths."

The overall goals of the ACIP are to provide advice to the CDC that will lead to a reduction in the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States and an increase in the safe use of vaccines and related biological products.

Moreover, the Committee is responsible for developing written recommendations for the routine administration of vaccines to children and adults in the civilian population. Recommendations include the ages for vaccine administration, number of doses, dosing interval, precautions and contraindications.

Dr. Daines pointed out that the ACIP is the only entity in the federal government that makes such recommendations.

After graduating from medical school, Dr. Morse completed a residency in internal medicine and served with the CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer. He joined the New York State Department of Health in 1980. During his tenure with the Department, Dr. Morse has investigated many emerging infections, including food-borne (e.g. salmonellosis, typhoid), immunizable (e.g. measles, rubella), respiratory (e.g. tuberculosis, legionella) and blood-borne (e.g. AIDS, hepatitis) diseases and co-authored more than 130 scientific publications.

Dr. Morse earned his M.D. degree at the University of Rochester in 1975 and his master's degree in epidemiology from Harvard University's School of Public Health in 1985. Dr. Morse is a Professor at the University at Albany's School of Public Health.

Dr. Morse lives in Niskayuna, N.Y.