Rochelle Walensky

American medical scientist

Rochelle Paula Walensky (née Bersoff; born April 5, 1969) is an American physician-scientist who is the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Prior to her appointment at the CDC, she was the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Walensky is an expert on HIV/AIDS.

Rochelle Walensky


  • Today, I endorsed ACIP’s vote to expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. Children 5 through 11 should receive a booster dose at least 5 months after their primary series. Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness. With over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected. I encourage parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.
With cases increasing, it is important that all people have the protection they need, which is why, today, CDC has also strengthened another booster recommendation. Those 50 and older and those who are 12 and older and immunocompromised should get a second booster dose.
  • "The people themselves were responsible or whether many of the things in the structure around them didn’t allow them to operate as swiftly as possible and didn’t allow them to prioritize. I think it’s a little bit of both"
    • [1] on laying out the facts for employees apologizing for mistakes
  • "The latest guidance is based on science and outreach with teachers, parents and the Department of Education. CDC officials conducted comprehensive reviews of literature and extensively studied what happened during school openings in the fall and in Europe"
    • [2]Walensky told NBC News
  • "We are committed to dismantling the barriers faced by our community based on racism, sexism, queer-antagonism, and other discriminatory factors. These barriers include recent legislation like denying trans people from using the bathroom of their gender, barring trans people from participating in sports of their gender, and banning schools from teaching about LGBTQ acceptance
    • [3] on transgender
  • "You know, here is what I can tell you. We are in a different place. Schools are open. Businesses are open. We have a lot of population immunity out there right now. We have a lot of protection from vaccination already. Deaths are still at 350 a day, but they are way lower than they were a year ago, two years ago at this time"
    • [4]Walensky said in an interview with ABC news
  • "In a pandemic, you don’t have time to wait. You have to take action to help people. We haven’t been able to be as nimble as we’ve needed to be"
    • [5]said Walenksy, who has faced her own communications problems during the crisis
  • "The agency needs it to modernize the nation’s public health data infrastructure, for the workforce, and quite honestly, we need it for the intersection of the two. We need data analysts working in public health"
    • [6] She has asked Congress for support in expanding the agency’s authority to collect better public health data
  • "We wanted to acknowledge the limitations of the methods that we had and give out the data that we had so that people could see how the vaccines were performing"
    • [7] on vaccine effectiveness
  • "We will put the pedal to the metal for as long as we can under my leadership .My hope is I will leave them in a place where everyone recognizes that this needs to move"
    • [8] Walensky said
  • We want to make sure we get the answer right, but when we know the answer, we shouldn’t wait to convey it to others, I think people within the agency recognize the need for change"

See also

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