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Make assessments about the quality and importance of available data on the pandemic response, and its implications for future responses.

  • Incorporate scientifically vetted, research-based data to the fullest extent possible. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.5.2.
  • Emphasize that scientific evidence comes in different forms with different degrees of certainty and probability. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.2. 
  • Consider evidence from multiple disciplines. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.3.
  • Health care professionals’ input in the decision-making process, in addition to the presence of communication mechanisms that allow for the expression of dissatisfaction by the health care professionals, allows for the iterative evaluation and improvement of the protocol. Indiana University
  • Ensure data validity, account for the limitations of available data, determine statistical thresholds for defining significance, and take steps to assist others who use the data, including the media and policymakers, so they will not draw inappropriate conclusions regarding cause and effect. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.2.4.
  • Give special attention to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of individuals when gathering data, collect only data elements and specimens necessary for disease control or protection, and remove personal identifying information from the data set as soon as it is no longer needed. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.2.5.
  • Balance the public’s need for information with the possibility that an investigation’s results will create undue burdens or stigma for populations, groups, or individuals or cause other adverse outcomes. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.2.6.
  • Involve an investment of resources in collecting ethically and methodologically sound evidence. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.6.
  • Evaluate the strength and appropriateness of different types of evidence. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.4.
  • Recognize and acknowledge when evidence is changing or incomplete and when assumptions or contexts change the relevance of evidence. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.5.
  • Ensure that reasonable alternative options are considered and evaluated and that final public health policies and plans are designed to most effectively accomplish stated goals while minimizing the potential for harm. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.5.9.