Profile

Jessica Malaty Rivera, MS

Science Communication Lead at The Pandemic Tracking Collective

Jessica Malaty Rivera is an infectious disease epidemiologist and science communicator. She earned her MS in Emerging Infectious Diseases from the Georgetown School of Medicine and has dedicated the last 15 years of her career to disease surveillance research, public health policy, and vaccine advocacy. Her specialty is in translating complex scientific concepts into impactful, judgment-free, and accessible information for a diverse audience. She is currently the Science Communication Lead for The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, a researcher with the COVID-19 Dispersed Volunteer Research Network, a research affiliate at Boston Children’s Hospital Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator, and an expert contributor for NBC Bay Area and CNN. Jessica  was recently named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine for her work on COVID-19 research and data communication. Between her day jobs and being a full-time mother to two little kids, she also dedicates several hours a week to promoting science literacy and debunking misinformation on social media.

Authored Content

  • Dec 28 2021
    Field Note Vaccine Inequity Increases the Risk of New SARS-CoV-2 Variants Emerging Robust genomic surveillance, along with transparency, communication, and global collaboration, is needed to detect and control emerging variants. To control the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on member states to meet a goal of vaccinating 40% of their population by the end of 2021. As of mid December 2021, over 8.6 billion […] Dave Luo, Dr. Rick Bright, Emily Bass, Jacqueline Houtman, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Jonathan Gilmour, Lindsey Shultz
  • Dec 22 2021
    Field Note Tracking State Reporting of Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections Today, we are releasing a reporting scorecard that evaluates U.S. state data reporting for Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough infections (BI) against best practices we have identified. We assign states letter grades based on their alignment with these best practices for reporting BI data and will update the grades monthly to monitor progress. The scorecard with states’ […] Dave Luo, Jennifer Clyde, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Jonathan Gilmour, Kaitlyn Johnson, Kara Schechtman, Leo Wolansky, Lindsey Shultz, Michal Mart, Rebecca Glassman
  • Dec 01 2021
    Blog Post Genomic Surveillance Is Essential To Track Covid-19 Variants in Both Unvaccinated and Vaccinated Populations Technological advancements have made sequencing quicker and more affordable, but collaboration, outreach, and trust are needed to achieve representative samples from underserved populations. The course of the Covid-19 pandemic depends not only on how the SARS-CoV-2 virus changes, but on how communities respond to it. Public health officials can only make decisions to protect their […] Dr. Rick Bright, Emily Bass, Jacqueline Houtman, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Lindsey Shultz, Rebecca Glassman
  • Nov 09 2021
    Blog Post The Critical Challenge of Tracking Breakthrough Infections, and Why We Still Need Better Data Standards Despite ample vaccine supplies, outbreaks among unvaccinated populations in the US and the appearance of the Delta variant promote infection in fully vaccinated individuals. These breakthrough infections must be carefully tracked. As the percentage of Americans considered fully vaccinated reached 58 percent, and Covid-19-related deaths surpassed three quarters of a million, concerns over breakthrough infections […] Dr. Rick Bright, Emily Bass, Jacqueline Houtman, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Lindsey Shultz, Rebecca Glassman
  • Jul 30 2021
    Blog Post Making Sense of Variants: They All Deserve Attention. A Few Merit Concern. SARS-CoV-2 has already mutated since it was first identified and will continue to do so. Robust global genomic sequencing is the best tool for tracking existing variants and detecting new ones. This information enables public health officials, governments, and communities to take action that can save lives. The more high-quality data that is available, the […] Dr. Rick Bright, Jacqueline Houtman, Jessica Malaty Rivera, Lindsey Shultz, Rebecca Glassman
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