COVID-19 Independent Safety Monitoring Board


COVID-19 Independent Safety Monitoring Board

Statement from the Ministry of Health
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Nurse administers a vaccine
From: Jo Gibbs, National Director of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme
John Tait, COVID-19 Independent Safety Monitoring Board chair

As part of the COVID-19 vaccine and immunisation programme, a COVID-19 Independent Safety Monitoring Board has been established which is independent of the COVID-19 immunisation programme, Medsafe and Ministry of Health.

The expertise included on the board was guided by World Health Organization recommendations and currently includes, but is not limited to, the following specialities:

  • Neurology
  • General Medicine
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Paediatrics
  • Biostatistics.

The board also holds a position for a lay person (non-healthcare professional) to represent consumer interests.

The purpose of the board is to provide expert advice on the safety of COVID-19 vaccine(s) during the national roll-out. It is intended that the board will provide advice to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), Medsafe, the COVID-19 immunisation programme, and Ministry of Health on:

    • the interpretation of the information;
    • the significance of the information in relation to the risk-benefit profile of the vaccine;
    • whether an issue needs referral to the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee for advice or to Medsafe for consideration of possible regulatory intervention; and
    • confirming CVIP procedures around safety surveillance;
    • among other areas.

COVID-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board


Area of Expertise


Mr John Tait (Chair)

Obstetrics, Clinical Governance, and Leadership.

Chief Medical Officer CCDHB; Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist

Dr Nick Cutfield


Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Lead; Senior Lecturer

Associate Professor Matt Doogue

Clinical Pharmacology; Endocrinology

Consultant physician in Clinical Pharmacology and General Medicine

Dr Kyle Eggleton

General Practice

Kaupapa Māori Medical Officer at Ki A Ora Ngātiwai; Senior Lecturer

Professor Chris Frampton


Professor of Biostatistics

Dr Maryann Heather

General Practice; Pacific Health

GP at South Seas Healthcare; Senior Lecturer

Dr Tom Hills


Chief Medical Resident, Immunology

Honorary Associate Professor Hilary Longhurst

Immunology; Pathology

Senior Medical Officer, Immunology

Professor Thomas Lumley


Professor of Biostatistics

Saskia Schuitemaker

Lay person – to represent consumer interests

Coordinator, Child and Youth Mortality review Group, Waikato District Health Board

Dr Owen Sinclair, Te Rarawa

Paediatrics, Māori Health

Paediatrician WDHB

Professor Lisa Stamp


Professor in Medicine; Rheumatologist

Dr Anja Werno

Microbiology; Pathology

Chief of Pathology & Medical Director of Microbiology, CHL; Clinical Senior Lecturer

Dr Enver Yousuf

General Medicine

Senior Registrar CCDHB General Medicine