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The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
Home » ASPHER Working Groups » Public Health Emergencies Task Force


4 Jun 2024
The World Health Organisation has just launched a suite of papers from its two-year programme “Building the national workforce for essential public health functions (EPHFs): A Roadmap for aligning WHO and partner contributions. The introductory...
29 May 2024
Download the statement PDF here. The role of the public health community is to prevent disease, disability, injury, and death. The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) has expressed grave concern about the horrific...
24 May 2024
ASPHER endorses the statement of one its members, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in its call to ignore misinformation and unite against pandemic threat.  We agree that attacks on the draft pandemic agreement and the...

Public Health Emergencies Task Force

ASPHER Public Health Emergencies Task Force 
(Previously the ASPHER COVID-19 Task Force) 

As the World emerges from the acute pandemic emergency, the ASPHER Covid-19 Task Force has begun to consider other health emergencies of concern, thus broadening focus and becoming the ASPHER Public Health Emergencies Task Force. The PHE-TF is still very rooted in the origins of its formation under Covid-19 and continues to consider the lessons that can and must be learned from the pandemic, while at the same time, members are focussing on the future and preparedness for threats that are on the horizon.

The TF will continue its interdisciplinary work, fostering collaboration and trust being built as a flexible, bottom-up organisation with strong emphasis on involving young professionals.

If you wish to participate in the PHE-TF, please contact Robert at:

COVID-19 Lessons Learned

NEW The COVID-19 Pandemic as a Public Health Teacher - the lessons we must learn. December 2023 Download here.

NEW ASPHER pandemic health inequalities series –Examining the COVID-19 pandemic’s unequal Burden of Disease Dowload here.

COVID 19 Task Force Initatives

ASPHER Statement: Planning for Winter 2022-23

ASPHER Statement: Facing the Fourth Winter of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Opinion: Monkeypox: Did we learn the lesson from COVID-19? 

Updating Core Competencies in Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (UCCAIDE): Technical Report and Self Assessment Tool

Two Years of COVID-19: ASPHER statement marking two years of the COVID-19 pandemic

Thank You to the Public Health Community: ASPHER and EUPHA thank the public health community

ASPHER COVID-19 Statement: ASPHER statement on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak emergency

Invest in primary health care and public health for the pandemic and beyond: ASPHER Statement

ASPHER Public Health Erosion Statement: The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) Statement on the Erosion of Public Health Systems

The Role of European Schools and University Departments of Public Health in the 2020 COVID-19 Response: ASPHER Survey Report

COVID-19 Situation Reporting across Europe

Country Situation Reporting archives 

COVID-19 Pandemic Waves

‘COVID-DO-IT-ALL’ We need Integrated Protection Systems and Strategies Against Omicron and other COVID-19 variants. ASPHER Statement

COVID-19 Pandemic Waves Surveillance in another Severe Winter of 2021: A basic guide to understand epidemic contexts, interpret pandemic waves and trends, ahead of the curve. ASPHER Report

How can European Schools of Public Health promote understanding, explaining and teaching about pandemic waves? ASPHER Statement

Déjà vu? Planning for the Covid-19 third wave and planning for the winter. ASPHER Statement

COVID-19 is at a Crossroads in Europe in Summer 2021: Risks of the Third Wave and the need to anticipate scenarios considering pitfalls. ASPHER Report

Planning for Winter Report: Planning for a second wave pandemic of COVID-19 and planning for winter

COVID-19 Lockdown Illnesses Report: What are the COVID-19 Lockdown-induced illnesses and why should European public health systems be investigating their epidemiology, treatment, and prevention?

COVID-19 Herd Immunity Report:  Getting Through the Pandemic in Europe in the Winter of 2020/21 The Misuse of COVID-19 Herd Immunity Argument

Vitamin D and COVID-19 Report: Vitamin D for Preventive and Adjunct Therapy for Mitigation of Early Stages of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome due to COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

De-escalation planning/regulations in aftermath: webplatform on the state of the emergence from lockdown and recovery

COVID-19 lockdown rules in selected European countries (30.12.2020) (including meeting indoors, meeting outdoors, pubs and bars, restaurants, entertainment, close contact retail, non-essential shops, universities, schools, public services, work places, travel in and out, wedding/funeral, places of worship, vaccination) (pdf version)

School Reopening: 

Phase 2: January 2021 Rapid Response Survey Report

Phase 1: July 2020 Rapid Response Survey Report 

subgroup webplatform

Inequalities and Vulnerable populations subgroup webplatform  

How are inequalities in health from Long COVID being exacerbated and what are the strategic implications for more equitable support for those with enduring clinical sequelae of infection?  ASPHER Statement

Addressing the long shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic’s unjust, unequal, deep, widespread and enduring impacts over the next decade. Second ASPHER Statement on the Pandemic Impacts on Health Inequalities in Disadvantaged Vulnerable Populations in the European Region

Intimate Partner Violence. The impact of COVID-19 on intimate partner violence in Europe

ASPHER Report on Homelessness and Pandemic Measures: COVID-19 and People Experiencing Homelessness: Reported Measures Implemented in the European Region during the Pandemic

ASPHER Statement on vaccination in Palestine: The Right to COVID-19 Vaccination must be extended to Palestinians

Prisons and COVID-19 Report: Prisons and COVID-19 policies: the need for collaborative and participatory health interventions

Inequalities and Vulnerable populations Statement:  First Statement of the ASPHER COVID-19 Task Group on Health Inequalities and Vulnerable Populations

Inequalities and Vulnerable populations Report: Ethical and Professional Guidance for Public Health Academics and Professionals: How should we evaluate Country-level Rapid Reviews of Pandemic Impacts on Health Inequalities and Vulnerable population groups? 

Inequalities Basic Terms: What is Inequality? Basic Health Inequality Concepts for Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic 

ASPHER Comment on PHRI Statement: ASPHER Comment on the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHRI) Satement of the 7 Aprl 2020 | Statement of PHRI calling on Israel to take measures to save lives

Children's Issues

ASPHER Statement: Vaccinating Children and Young People: What are the issues?

ASPHER Statement: Children and COVID-19 Closing or keep opening the schools: The consequences

ASPHER Technical Report: Children and COVID-19 Closing or keep opening the schools: The consequences

Infographic: COVID-19 School Challenges

ASPHER Statement on Children's Issues: First Statement of ASPHER on COVID-19 and its Impacts on Children During and After the Pandemic

Mask Use by Children StatementASPHER Statement on the Use of Masks by Children


ASPHER Statement: A vaccine waiver now

Full statement on the proposal for a waiver of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), and related vaccine equity issues

ASPHER Statement: Vaccinating Children and Young People: What are the issues?

The Importance of Health Communication during Emergencies: The Mix-and-Match Question. (English)

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs about the Covid-19 Vaccine

ASPHER Statement in response to new CDC guidelines for vaccinated indivduals: ASPHER Statement on the Abolition of Mandatory Prevention Measures in the US for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Two months after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) ruling on the safety of the Astra-Zeneca Covid-19 (Vaxzevria®) vaccine, ASPHER provides an update. (English)

ASPHER welcomes European Medicines Agency judgement on the safety of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. (English) (French)

Vaccine Internationalism Statement: Towards ‘vaccine internationalism’ an ASPHER statement on the need for an equitable and coordinated global vaccination approach to effectively combat COVID-19

Vaccine Priority and Planning Statement: ASPHER statement on the need for a coordinated, professional approach to policy and planning for COVID-19 vaccination roll-out

ASPHER Statement on vaccination in Palestine: The Right to COVID-19 Vaccination must be extended to Palestinians

Vaccine nationalism will hinder our ability to effectively combat covid-19 (BMJ Opinion) January 2021: We need an equitable and coordinated global approach to Covid-19 vaccination

ASPHER COVID-19 Vaccine Statement (BMJ Opinion); November 2020: Covid-19 vaccines-where are the data?

ASPHER COVID-19 Vaccine Statement (BMJ Opinion); September 2020: Vaccines for Covid-19: reasons for hope, but first for concern


Handbook on Basic Epidemiological TermsHow to Count Illness: Basic epidemiological concepts for understanding the COVID-19 epidemic 

Updated 2nd Edition of How to Count Illness now available! Now in Italian!

Spanish and Romanian Translations now available.


Statement on New Mask Use Regulations: Statement on the New Recommendations for the Use of Masks Following the Spread of SARS-Cov-2 Variants

Masks Use Statement: ASPHER Statement on the Strategic Use of Masks 

Masks Use Report: Technical Report: Strategic use of masks as an element of a non-pharmaceutical measures set for a pandemic 

Masks Use Infographic: Infographic: Protocol for Strategic Use of Masks 

Press Release

Mask Use by Children StatementASPHER Statement on the Use of Masks by Children (Updated 9 July 2020 and new translations)


COVID-19 Testing 3rd Statement: Lateral Flow Antigen Tests - not a panacea for freedom from the pandemic

Educational Testing Video:  Fixed Cut-off? Think Again...

COVID-19 Testing 2nd Statement: COVID-19 testing from a public health perspective: Selection of test, cut-off and sampling scheme should depend on the purpose of testing

COVID-19 Testing Statement: ASPHER Statement on the COVID-19 Testing 

COVID-19 Testing Report: Technical Report: COVID-19 testing: A reflection on test accuracy in the real world 

COVID-19 Testing Decision Tree: COVID-19 Testing decision tree

Surveillance and Tracking Applications

Surveillance/Tracking Apps Statement: ASPHER Statement – Contact Tracing Apps

Surveillance/Tracking Apps Report: Policy Report: Contact Tracing Apps for COVID-19 - An Overview of the European Region

Surveillance/Tracking Apps Basic Terms: Repository of Basic Technical Terms 

The ASPHER COVID-19 Task Force is teaming up with the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) to provide rapid reporting for Cross Country Analysis on policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis. HSRM is a joint undertaking of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Commission, and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

Task Force Members


Nadav DAVIDOVITCH, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, ISRAEL


Hamzeh AL ZABADI, An-Najah National University, PALESTINE

Lukasz BALWICKI, Medical University of Gdansk, POLAND

Henrique BARROS, University of Porto, PORTUGAL


Vesna BJEGOVIC-MIKANOVIC, University of Belgrade, SERBIA

Robert BUCKINGHAM, University of Michigan-Flint, USA 


Kasia CZABANOWSKA, Maastricht University, THE NETHERLANDS

Jeannette DE BOER, NSPOH, Groningen, NETHERLANDS 

Alberto FERNÁNDEZ, EASP, Granada, SPAIN 

Anders FOLDSPANG, Emeritus, Aarhus University, DENMARK

Manfred GREEN, University of Haifa, ISRAEL

Ondrej HOLY, Palacky University Olomouc, CZECHIA

Tadeusz JEDRZEJCZYK, Medical University of Gdansk, POLAND

Ramune KALEDIENE, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LITHUANIA

Janus KOCIK, Center of Postgraduate Medical Education, Warsaw, POLAND

Polychronis KOSTOULAS, University of Thessaly, GREECE

Jutta LINDERT, Emden-Leer University of Applied Sciences, GERMANY

Henrique LOPES, NOVA University, Lisbon, PORTUGAL 

Avi MAGID, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, ISRAEL

Jose M MARTIN-MORENO, University of Valencia, SPAIN 

Amanda MASON-JONES, University of York, UK

Alison MCCALLUM, University of Edinburgh, UK

Kai MICHELSEN, University of Applied Sciences, Fulda, GERMANY

John MIDDLETON, ASPHER Past-President


Anna ODONE, University of Pavia, ITALY

Vasco Ricoca PEIXOTO, National SPH Lisbon NOVA, PORTUGAL

Alena PETRAKOVA, Palacký University Olomouc – Faculty of Health Sciences, CZECHIA


John REID, University of Chester, UK


Mohamud SHEEK-HUSSEIN, United Arab Emirates University, UAE 

Ines SIEPMANN, Young Professionals Programme Coordinator at ASPHER

Carlo SIGNORELLI, ASPHER President, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, ITALY

Judit SIMON, Medical University of Vienna, AUSTRIA

Natia SKHVITARIDZE, School of Health Sciences, University of Georgia, GEORGIA

Nora VESELA, Palacký University Olomouc – Faculty of Health Sciences, CZECHIA