COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group

The County of San Diego's COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group brings together local and community clinical partners to provide guidance using a phased approach for vaccine distribution and provide recommendations using a health equity lens when vaccine supply is limited. The overall objective is to determine COVID-19 vaccine allocation within phases during limited vaccine supply in a fair, equitable manner using a deliberative process through discussion, evidenced-based medicine, and resources provided from the County, State, and Nationally.

Featuring representation from the County and community clinical leaders, this group will work collaboratively to provide guidance and a health equity lens rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

View recommendations from the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group.

This group is led by tri-chairs:

  • Gail Knight, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Rady Children’s Hospital and Co-chair of the Hospital CMO COVID-19 advisory group.
  • Rodney G. Hood, M.D., Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Multicultural Health Foundation and a member of the governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Panel.
  • Ankita Kadakia, M.D., Chief and Medical Director, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, Public Health Services, Tuberculosis Control and Refugee Health Branch.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group Members

County of San Diego

Wilma Wooten,MD, MPH- Public Health Officer and Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services, Public Health Services

Nicole Esposito, MD - Assistant Clinical Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Services

Emily Do, PharmD, JD, MBA, BCPS, CHC, CSSBB - Chief Pharmacy Officer, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Medical Care Services Division

Kelly Motadel, MD, MPH - Child Health Officer, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency

Nikos Gurfield, DVM, PhD, DACVP - County Veterinarian, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Vector Control Program

John Malone – MD, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services

Kristi Koenig, MD, FACEP, FIFEM, FAEMS - Medical Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Emergency Medical Services

Sayone Thihalolipavan, MD, MPH - Medical Consultant, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services

Eric McDonald, MD, MPH, FACEP - Medical Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services

Melissa Thun, BSN - Public Health Nurse Manager, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services

Denise Lozares, RN, PHN - Director of Nursing, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services

Denise Foster - Chief Nursing Officer, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Medical Care Services

Non-Clinical
Subject Matter Experts

Rob Sills, MBA - Director, Medical Operations Center, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency

Brett Austin, MA, PHN - Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services

Elizabeth Hernandez, PhD - Assistant Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services

Jennifer Wheeler, MSW – Health Planning and Program Specialist, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services

Carey Riccitelli, MPH - Coordinator, EOC Education & Outreach Branch, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency

Katherine Briggs, MPH – Health Planning and Program Specialist, T3 Communications, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency

Community Members

Ruth Kirby, RN, MSN, MBA -   Chair, San Diego Immunization Coalition,  San Ysidro Health 

Daniel J. Calac, MD - Chief Medical Officer, Indian Health Council, Inc

Karl Steinberg, MD, CMD, HMDC - Chief Medical Officer, Mariner Health Care (Long-Term Care)

Jeannette L. Aldous, MD  (she/her/hers) - Clinical Director of Infectious Disease, San Ysidro Health

Mark H. Sawyer – MD, Professor of Pediatrics, UCSD School of Medicine & Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego

Christian B. Ramers, MD, MPH, AAHIVS - Chief, Population Health Family Health Centers of San Diego, Clinical Associate Professor, Medicine/Infectious Diseases UCSD School of Medicine

Jeffrey Norris, MD - Chief Medical Officer, Father Joe’s Village, Village Health Center

Samantha Williams, MSN FNP - Immunization Clinic Chair, San Diego Black Nurses Association Inc, Co-chair, San Diego Immunization Coalition

Carl Medina - San Diego National Association of Hispanic Nurses

Merlie Ramira, DNP, FNP-C, CEN - Philippine Nurses Association San Diego, Inc

Laura Chechel - Association of California Nurse Leaders

Meeting Summaries