Associate Professor Helen Petousis-Harris

BSc, PGDipSc (Distinction), PhD


I am a vaccinologist, associate professor in the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and the Director of the Vaccine Datalink and Research Group. Since 1998 I have been involved in immunisation-related research in New Zealand including clinical, social science, epidemiological and health systems. My main research areas are vaccine safety and vaccine effectiveness and currently I am co-leading the Global Vaccine Data Network, a multinational consortium dedicated to collaboration in vaccine safety studies. I am a media spokesperson on vaccines and vaccination, science communicator, and teach undergrad and post grad courses.

My research interests include vaccine effectiveness and vaccine safety. I was previously the chair of the World Health Organization Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) and currently elected member of the International Brighton Collaboration Science Board.

Research | Current

Research interests

  • Vaccines and Vaccination
  • Safety of Vaccines
  • Effectiveness of Vaccines
  • Science Communication


Postgraduate supervision

Supervision of Research Students.

Doctoral Students

Mr Adrian Ludlam. The HPreV Study: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, awareness, and vaccine acceptability among high-risk New Zealand males.

Ms Jazmin Duque. The Association Between Febrile Illness During Pregnancy and Adverse Outcomes Affecting the Offspring

Ms Hannah Chisholm. Understanding pertussis vaccine failure



The Deans Fellowship Faculty of Medical and Health Science, University of Auckland

Semi-Finalist, New Zealander of the Year 2020



Associate Professor

Director of Vaccine Datalink and Research Group

Co-Director Global Vaccine Data Network

Areas of expertise

  • General Vaccinology - vaccines and vaccination
  • Vaccine Preventable Diseases - in particular pertussis, human papillomavirus, pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease
  • Vaccines - acellular pertussis, conjugate pneumococcal vaccines, OMV vaccines, recombinant vaccines
  • Vaccine Safety
  • Vaccine Efficacy and Effectiveness
  • Adressing Vaccine Mythology and Misconceptions

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Prev Chair of the World Health Organization Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety 

Member of the International Brighton Collaboration Science Board

Convenor of the NZ Safety Expert Advisory Group

Member Australian AusVaxSafety Governance Board

Professional Member of The Royal Society of New Zealand

Member, International Society for Vaccines

Member Ministry of Health Infectious Diseases Academy

Member Professional Advisory Board of the New Zealand HPV Project

Member Health Research Council Gene Technology Advisory Committee (GTAC)

Professional Member Royal Society of New Zealand (MRSNZ)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Gottlieb, S. L., Ndowa, F., Hook, E. W., Deal, C., Bachmann, L., Abu-Raddad, L., ... MacLennan, C. A. (2020). Gonococcal vaccines: Public health value and preferred product characteristics; report of a WHO global stakeholder consultation, January 2019. Vaccine, 38 (28), 4362-4373. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.02.073
  • Petousis-Harris, H., Jiang, Y., Yu, L., Watson, D., Walls, T., Turner, N., ... Griffin, J. B. (2019). A Retrospective Cohort Study of Safety Outcomes in New Zealand Infants Exposed to Tdap Vaccine in Utero. Vaccines, 7 (4).10.3390/vaccines7040147
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anna Howe, Yannan Jiang, Nikki Turner
  • Petousis-Harris, H., Howe, A. S., Paynter, J., Turner, N., & Griffin, J. (2019). Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines Turning the Tide on Inequity: A Retrospective Cohort Study of New Zealand Children Born 2006-2015. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 68 (5), 818-826. 10.1093/cid/ciy570
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nikki Turner, Janine Paynter, Anna Howe
  • Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (2019). Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety. Meeting of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety 5-6 Dec 2018. Weekly Epidemiological Record, 94 (4), 45-52. Related URL.
  • Paynter, J., Goodyear-Smith, F., Morgan, J., Saxton, P., Black, S., & Petousis-Harris, H. (2019). Effectiveness of a Group B Outer Membrane Vesicle Meningococcal Vaccine in Preventing Hospitalization from Gonorrhea in New Zealand: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Vaccines, 7 (1).10.3390/vaccines7010005
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janine Paynter, Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Peter Saxton
  • Griffin, J. B., Yu, L., Watson, D., Turner, N., Walls, T., Howe, A. S., ... Petousis-Harris, H. (2018). Pertussis Immunisation in Pregnancy Safety (PIPS) Study: A retrospective cohort study of safety outcomes in pregnant women vaccinated with Tdap vaccine. Vaccine, 36 (34), 5173-5179. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.07.011
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anna Howe, Yannan Jiang, Nikki Turner
  • Petousis-Harris, H. (2018). Impact of meningococcal group B OMV vaccines, beyond their brief. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 14 (5), 1058-1063. 10.1080/21645515.2017.1381810
  • Petousis-Harris, H., Paynter, J., Morgan, J., Saxton, P., McArdle, B., Goodyear-Smith, F., & Black, S. (2017). Effectiveness of a group B outer membrane vesicle meningococcal vaccine against gonorrhoea in New Zealand: A retrospective case-control study. The Lancet, 390 (10102), 1603-1610. 10.1016/s0140-6736(17)31449-6
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Saxton, Janine Paynter, Barbara McArdle, Felicity Goodyear-Smith


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 3, Room 3106
New Zealand

Social links

Web links