Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
2019 Sammies finalist Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the influenza division at CDC, discusses the work he’s done to prevent flu outbreaks, and new technologies to fight infectious disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are constantly on watch for potential pandemics, and working to prevent outbreaks before they start. Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the influenza division at CDC, is nominated for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medal for the work he’s done in the field. Jernigan says that creating flu vaccines is a complicated process that requires careful planning, but they’re working on new methods.

“We estimated that around 79,000 deaths last year. Influenza has a significant burden.  That’s why [vaccines] are so important. We take 100,000 different specimens, hone those down to 50 viruses that we then are able to select from [to] be in the vaccines,” Jernigan said. “We can actually pick every week what to put into the vaccine. But unfortunately, you have to make a decision 6 months ahead of when the vaccine gets injected into somebody. That’s because the technology we’re using for vaccines right now uses eggs. That’s an older technology. It takes time and it changes the virus a little bit so that it doesn’t look like what it is circulating. There’s a lot we need to do in terms of improving vaccines.”

Sponsored Content

The Future of Civil Service

Watch The Future of Civil Service on Dec. 8 at 8:30 and 10:30 PM on WJLA 24/7 News, sponsored by EY
December 2022
Where to Watch
  • Weeknights at 8 PM and 10:30 PM on WJLA 24/7
  • Sunday Mornings at 10:30 AM on 7News
  • AFN American Forces Network
    Worldwide on American Forces Network
Our Brands