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    1. While most people vaccinate according to the recommended schedule, this success is challenged by individuals and groups who delay or refuse vaccines. The aim of this article is to review studies on vaccine hesitancy among healthcare providers (HCPs), and the influences of their own vaccine confidence and vaccination behaviour on their vaccination recommendations to others.The search strategy was developed in Medline and then adapted across several multidisciplinary mainstream databases including Embase Classic & Embase, and PschInfo. All foreign language articles were included if the abstract was available in English.A total of 185 articles were included in the literature review. 66% studied the vaccine hesitancy among HCPs, 17% analysed concerns, attitudes and/or behaviour of HCPs towards vaccinating others, and 9% were about evaluating intervention(s). Overall, knowledge about particular vaccines, their efficacy and safety, helped to build HCPs own confidence in vaccines and their willingness to recommend vaccines to others. The importance of societal endorsement and support from colleagues was also reported.In the face of emerging vaccine hesitancy, HCPs still remain the most trusted advisor and influencer of vaccination decisions. The capacity and confidence of HCPs, though, are stretched as they are faced with time constraints, increased workload and limited resources, and often have inadequate information or training support to address parents’ questions. Overall, HCPs need more support to manage the quickly evolving vaccine environment as well as changing public, especially those who are reluctant or refuse vaccination. Some recommended strategies included strengthening trust between HCPs, health authorities and policymakers, through more shared involvement in the establishment of vaccine recommendations.
    1. Despite being recognized as one of the most successful public health measures, vaccination is perceived as unsafe and unnecessary by a growing number of individuals. Lack of confidence in vaccines is now considered a threat to the success of vaccination programs. Vaccine hesitancy is believed to be responsible for decreasing vaccine coverage and an increasing risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks and epidemics. This review provides an overview of the phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy. First, we will characterize vaccine hesitancy and suggest the possible causes of the apparent increase in vaccine hesitancy in the developed world. Then we will look at determinants of individual decision-making about vaccination.
    1. Individuals care about how they are perceived by others, and take visible actions to signal their type. This paper investigates social signaling in the context of childhood immunization in Sierra Leone. Despite high initial vaccine take-up, many parents do not complete the five immunizations that are required in a child’s first year of life. I introduce a durable signal - in the form of differently colored bracelets - which children receive upon vaccination, and implement a 22-month-long experiment in 120 public clinics. Informed by theory, the experimental design separately identifies social signaling from leading alternative mechanisms. In a first main finding, I show that individuals use signals to learn about others’ actions. Second, I find that the impact of signals varies significantly with the social desirability of the action. In particular, the signal has a weak effect when linked to a vaccine with low perceived benefits and a large, positive effect when linked to a vaccine with high perceived benefits. Of substantive policy importance, signals increase timely and complete vaccination at a cost of approximately 1 USD per child, with effects persisting 12 months after the roll out. Finally, I structurally estimate a dynamic discrete-choice model to quantify the value of social signaling.
    1. BackgroundIn June 2009 a global influenza pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation. A vaccination programme against H1N1 influenza was introduced in many countries from September 2009, but there was low uptake in both the general population and health professionals in many, though not all, countries.PurposeTo examine the psychological and demographic factors associated with uptake of vaccination during the 2009 pandemic.MethodA systematic literature review searching Web of Science and PubMed databases up to 24 January 2011.Results37 articles met the study inclusion criteria. Using the framework of Protection Motivation Theory the review found that both the degree of threat experienced in the 2009 pandemic influenza outbreak and perceptions of vaccination as an effective coping strategy were associated with stronger intentions and higher uptake of vaccination. Appraisal of threat resulted from both believing oneself to be at risk from developing H1N1 influenza and concern and worry about the disease. Appraisal of coping resulted from concerns about the safety of the vaccine and its side effects. There was evidence of an influence of social pressure in that people who thought that others wanted them to be vaccinated were more likely to do so and people getting their information about vaccination from official health sources being more likely to be vaccinated than those relying on unofficial sources. There was also a strong influence of past behaviour, with those having been vaccinated in the past against seasonal influenza being more likely to be vaccinated against pandemic influenza. Demographic factors associated with higher intentions and uptake of vaccination were: older age, male gender, being from an ethnic minority and, for health professionals, being a doctor.DiscussionInterventions designed to increase vaccination rates could be developed and implemented in advance of a pandemic. Strategies to improve uptake of vaccination include interventions which highlight the risk posed by pandemic influenza while simultaneously offering tactics to ameliorate this risk (e.g. vaccination). Perceived concerns about vaccination can be tackled by reducing the omission bias (a perception that harm caused by action is worse than harm caused by inaction). In addition, interventions to increase seasonal influenza vaccination in advance of a future pandemic may be an effective strategy.
    1. BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Parents decide whether their children are vaccinated, but they rarely reach these decisions on their own. Instead parents are influenced by their social networks, broadly defined as the people and sources they go to for information, direction, and advice. This study used social network analysis to formally examine parents’ social networks (people networks and source networks) related to their vaccination decision-making. In addition to providing descriptions of typical networks of parents who conform to the recommended vaccination schedule (conformers) and those who do not (nonconformers), this study also quantified the effect of network variables on parents’ vaccination choices.METHODS: This study took place in King County, Washington. Participation was limited to US-born, first-time parents with children aged ≤18 months. Data were collected via an online survey. Logistic regression was used to analyze the resulting data.RESULTS: One hundred twenty-six conformers and 70 nonconformers completed the survey. Although people networks were reported by 95% of parents in both groups, nonconformers were significantly more likely to report source networks (100% vs 80%, P < .001). Model comparisons of parent, people, and source network characteristics indicated that people network variables were better predictors of parents’ vaccination choices than parents’ own characteristics or the characteristics of their source networks. In fact, the variable most predictive of parents’ vaccination decisions was the percent of parents’ people networks recommending nonconformity.CONCLUSIONS: These results strongly suggest that social networks, and particularly parents’ people networks, play an important role in parents’ vaccination decision-making.
    1. The widespread prevalence and persistence of misinformation in contemporary societies, such as the false belief that there is a link between childhood vaccinations and autism, is a matter of public concern. For example, the myths surrounding vaccinations, which prompted some parents to withhold immunization from their children, have led to a marked increase in vaccine-preventable disease, as well as unnecessary public expenditure on research and public-information campaigns aimed at rectifying the situation.We first examine the mechanisms by which such misinformation is disseminated in society, both inadvertently and purposely. Misinformation can originate from rumors but also from works of fiction, governments and politicians, and vested interests. Moreover, changes in the media landscape, including the arrival of the Internet, have fundamentally influenced the ways in which information is communicated and misinformation is spread.We next move to misinformation at the level of the individual, and review the cognitive factors that often render misinformation resistant to correction. We consider how people assess the truth of statements and what makes people believe certain things but not others. We look at people’s memory for misinformation and answer the questions of why retractions of misinformation are so ineffective in memory updating and why efforts to retract misinformation can even backfire and, ironically, increase misbelief. Though ideology and personal worldviews can be major obstacles for debiasing, there nonetheless are a number of effective techniques for reducing the impact of misinformation, and we pay special attention to these factors that aid in debiasing.We conclude by providing specific recommendations for the debunking of misinformation. These recommendations pertain to the ways in which corrections should be designed, structured, and applied in order to maximize their impact. Grounded in cognitive psychological theory, these recommendations may help practitioners—including journalists, health professionals, educators, and science communicators—design effective misinformation retractions, educational tools, and public-information campaigns.
    1. Mathematical models that couple disease dynamics and vaccinating behaviour often assume that the incentive to vaccinate disappears if disease prevalence is zero. Hence, they predict that vaccine refusal should be the rule, and elimination should be difficult or impossible. In reality, countries with non-mandatory vaccination policies have usually been able to maintain elimination or very low incidence of paediatric infectious diseases for long periods of time. Here, we show that including injunctive social norms can reconcile such behaviour-incidence models to observations. Adding social norms to a coupled behaviour-incidence model enables the model to better explain pertussis vaccine uptake and disease dynamics in the UK from 1967 to 2010, in both the vaccine-scare years and the years of high vaccine coverage. The model also illustrates how a vaccine scare can perpetuate suboptimal vaccine coverage long after perceived risk has returned to baseline, pre-vaccine-scare levels. However, at other model parameter values, social norms can perpetuate depressed vaccine coverage during a vaccine scare well beyond the time when the population's baseline vaccine risk perception returns to pre-scare levels. Social norms can strongly suppress vaccine uptake despite frequent outbreaks, as observed in some small communities. Significant portions of the parameter space also exhibit bistability, meaning long-term outcomes depend on the initial conditions. Depending on the context, social norms can either support or hinder immunization goals.
    1. WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and partners are working together to help prepare countries to be ready to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine. Adaptable guidance, tools, trainings, and advocacy materials are being developed to support countries in preparing for COVID-19 vaccination. Please visit this page regularly for updates.We welcome feedback on the existing CRD resources and recommendations for what other materials are needed. You can share your suggestions with the CRD workstream by emailing CRDresources@who.int.
    1. The COVID-19 pandemic response has caused disruption to healthcare services globally, including to routine immunizations. To understand immunization service interruptions specifically for maternal, neonatal and infant vaccines, we captured the local experiences of members of the Immunising Pregnant Women and Infants Network (IMPRINT) by conducting an online survey over 2-weeks in April 2020. IMPRINT is a global network of clinicians and scientists working in maternal and neonatal vaccinology. The survey included discrete questions to quantify the extent of disruption as well as free-text options to explore the reasons behind reported disruptions. Of the 48 responses received, the majority (75%) were from low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). Of all respondents, 50% or more reported issues with vaccine delivery within their country. Thematic analysis identified three key themes behind immunization disruption: “access” issues, e.g., logistical barriers, “provider” issues, e.g., staff shortages and user “concern” about attending immunization appointments due to COVID-19 fear. Access and provider issues were more commonly reported by LMIC respondents. Overall, respondents reported uncertainty among parents and healthcare providers regarding routine immunization. We conclude that further quantification of routine vaccination disruption is needed, alongside health service prioritization, logistical support and targeted communication strategies to reinforce routine immunizations during the COVID-19 response.
    1. Given the social and economic upheavals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, political leaders, health officials, and members of the public are eager for solutions. One of the most promising, if they can be successfully developed, is vaccines. While the technological development of such countermeasures is currently underway, a key social gap remains. Past experience in routine and crisis contexts demonstrates that uptake of vaccines is more complicated than simply making the technology available. Vaccine uptake, and especially the widespread acceptance of vaccines, is a social endeavor that requires consideration of human factors. To provide a starting place for this critical component of a future COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the United States, the 23-person Working Group on Readying Populations for COVID-19 Vaccines was formed. One outcome of this group is a synthesis of the major challenges and opportunities associated with a future COVID-19 vaccination campaign and empirically-informed recommendations to advance public understanding of, access to, and acceptance of vaccines that protect against SARS-CoV-2. While not inclusive of all possible steps than could or should be done to facilitate COVID-19 vaccination, the working group believes that the recommendations provided are essential for a successful vaccination program.
    1. Many parents are hesitant about, or face motivational barriers to, vaccinating their children. In this paper, we propose a type of vaccination policy that could be implemented either in addition to coercive vaccination or as an alternative to it in order to increase paediatric vaccination uptake in a non-coercive way. We propose the use of vaccination nudges that exploit the very same decision biases that often undermine vaccination uptake. In particular, we propose a policy under which children would be vaccinated at school or day-care by default, without requiring parental authorization, but with parents retaining the right to opt their children out of vaccination. We show that such a policy is (1) likely to be effective, at least in cases in which non-vaccination is due to practical obstacles, rather than to strong beliefs about vaccines, (2) ethically acceptable and less controversial than some alternatives because it is not coercive and affects individual autonomy only in a morally unproblematic way, and (3) likely to receive support from the UK public, on the basis of original empirical research we have conducted on the lay public.
    1. BackgroundInfluenza vaccine hesitancy is a significant threat to global efforts to reduce the burden of seasonal and pandemic influenza. Potential barriers of influenza vaccination need to be identified to inform interventions to raise awareness, influenza vaccine acceptance and uptake.ObjectiveThis review aims to (1) identify relevant studies and extract individual barriers of seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccination for risk groups and the general public; and (2) map knowledge gaps in understanding influenza vaccine hesitancy to derive directions for further research and inform interventions in this area.MethodsThirteen databases covering the areas of Medicine, Bioscience, Psychology, Sociology and Public Health were searched for peer-reviewed articles published between the years 2005 and 2016. Following the PRISMA approach, 470 articles were selected and analyzed for significant barriers to influenza vaccine uptake or intention. The barriers for different risk groups and flu types were clustered according to a conceptual framework based on the Theory of Planned Behavior and discussed using the 4C model of reasons for non-vaccination.ResultsMost studies were conducted in the American and European region. Health care personnel (HCP) and the general public were the most studied populations, while parental decisions for children at high risk were under-represented. This study also identifies understudied concepts. A lack of confidence, inconvenience, calculation and complacency were identified to different extents as barriers to influenza vaccine uptake in risk groups.ConclusionMany different psychological, contextual, sociodemographic and physical barriers that are specific to certain risk groups were identified. While most sociodemographic and physical variables may be significantly related to influenza vaccine hesitancy, they cannot be used to explain its emergence or intensity. Psychological determinants were meaningfully related to uptake and should therefore be measured in a valid and comparable way. A compendium of measurements for future use is suggested as supporting information.
    1. The WHO SAGE values framework for the allocation and prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination is intended to offer guidance on the prioritization of groups for vaccination when vaccine supply is limited.  It provides a values foundation for the objectives of COVID-19 vaccination programmes and links those to target groups for vaccination.  This information is valuable to countries and globally while specific policies will be developed once vaccines become available.  
    1. The Guidance on National Deployment and Vaccination Planning is intended to help countries develop their plan for COVID-19 vaccine introduction.
    1. Vaccination is one of the great achievements of the 20th century, yet persistent public-health problems include inadequate, delayed, and unstable vaccination uptake. Psychology offers three general propositions for understanding and intervening to increase uptake where vaccines are available and affordable. The first proposition is that thoughts and feelings can motivate getting vaccinated. Hundreds of studies have shown that risk beliefs and anticipated regret about infectious disease correlate reliably with getting vaccinated; low confidence in vaccine effectiveness and concern about safety correlate reliably with not getting vaccinated. We were surprised to find that few randomized trials have successfully changed what people think and feel about vaccines, and those few that succeeded were minimally effective in increasing uptake. The second proposition is that social processes can motivate getting vaccinated. Substantial research has shown that social norms are associated with vaccination, but few interventions examined whether normative messages increase vaccination uptake. Many experimental studies have relied on hypothetical scenarios to demonstrate that altruism and free riding (i.e., taking advantage of the protection provided by others) can affect intended behavior, but few randomized trials have tested strategies to change social processes to increase vaccination uptake. The third proposition is that interventions can facilitate vaccination directly by leveraging, but not trying to change, what people think and feel. These interventions are by far the most plentiful and effective in the literature. To increase vaccine uptake, these interventions build on existing favorable intentions by facilitating action (through reminders, prompts, and primes) and reducing barriers (through logistics and healthy defaults); these interventions also shape behavior (through incentives, sanctions, and requirements). Although identification of principles for changing thoughts and feelings to motivate vaccination is a work in progress, psychological principles can now inform the design of systems and policies to directly facilitate action.
    1. According to the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy is among the top threats to global health and few effective strategies address this growing problem. In Canada, approximatively 20% of parents/caregivers are concerned about their children receiving vaccines. Trying to convince them by simply providing the facts about vaccination may backfire and make parents/caregivers even more hesitant. In this context, how can health care providers overcome the challenge of parental decision-making needs regarding vaccination of their children?Motivational interviewing aims to support decision making by eliciting and strengthening a person’s motivation to change their behaviour based on their own arguments for change. This approach is based on three main components: the spirit to cultivate a culture of partnership and compassion; the processes to foster engagement in the relationship and focus the discussion on the target of change; and the skills that enable health care providers to understand and address the parent/caregiver’s real concerns.With regard to immunization, the motivational interviewing approach aims to inform parents/caregivers about vaccinations, according to their specific needs and their individual level of knowledge, with respectful acceptance of their beliefs. The use of motivational interviewing calls for a respectful and empathetic discussion of vaccination and helps to build a strong relationship.Numerous studies in Canada, including multicentre randomized controlled trials, have proven the effectiveness of the motivational interviewing approach. Since 2018, the PromoVac strategy, an educational intervention based on the motivational interviewing approach, has been implemented as a new practice of care in maternity wards across the province of Quebec through the Entretien Motivationnel en Maternité pour l’Immunisation des Enfants (EMMIE) program.
    1. OBJECTIVE: Improving provider recommendations is critical to addressing low human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage. Thus, we sought to determine the effectiveness of training providers to improve their recommendations using either presumptive “announcements” or participatory “conversations.”METHODS: In 2015, we conducted a parallel-group randomized clinical trial with 30 pediatric and family medicine clinics in central North Carolina. We randomized clinics to receive no training (control), announcement training, or conversation training. Announcements are brief statements that assume parents are ready to vaccinate, whereas conversations engage parents in open-ended discussions. A physician led the 1-hour, in-clinic training. The North Carolina Immunization Registry provided data on the primary trial outcome: 6-month coverage change in HPV vaccine initiation (≥1 dose) for adolescents aged 11 or 12 years.RESULTS: The immunization registry attributed 17 173 adolescents aged 11 or 12 to the 29 clinics still open at 6-months posttraining. Six-month increases in HPV vaccination coverage were larger for patients in clinics that received announcement training versus those in control clinics (5.4% difference, 95% confidence interval: 1.1%–9.7%). Stratified analyses showed increases for both girls (4.6% difference) and boys (6.2% difference). Patients in clinics receiving conversation training did not differ from those in control clinics with respect to changes in HPV vaccination coverage. Neither training was effective for changing coverage for other vaccination outcomes or for adolescents aged 13 through 17 (n = 37 796).CONCLUSIONS: Training providers to use announcements resulted in a clinically meaningful increase in HPV vaccine initiation among young adolescents.
    1. We evaluate the results of a field experiment designed to measure the effect of prompts to form implementation intentions on realized behavioral outcomes. The outcome of interest is influenza vaccination receipt at free on-site clinics offered by a large firm to its employees. All employees eligible for study participation received reminder mailings that listed the times and locations of the relevant vaccination clinics. Mailings to employees randomly assigned to the treatment conditions additionally included a prompt to write down either (i) the date the employee planned to be vaccinated or (ii) the date and time the employee planned to be vaccinated. Vaccination rates increased when these implementation intentions prompts were included in the mailing. The vaccination rate among control condition employees was 33.1%. Employees who received the prompt to write down just a date had a vaccination rate 1.5 percentage points higher than the control group, a difference that is not statistically significant. Employees who received the more specific prompt to write down both a date and a time had a 4.2 percentage point higher vaccination rate, a difference that is both statistically significant and of meaningful magnitude.
    1. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways of reducing childhood mortality. Despite global uptake of childhood vaccinations increasing, rates remain sub-optimal, meaning that vaccine-preventable diseases still pose a public health risk. A range of interventions to promote vaccine uptake have been developed, although this range has not specifically been reviewed in early childhood. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of parental interventions to improve early childhood (0–5 years) vaccine uptake. Twenty-eight controlled studies contributed to six separate meta-analyses evaluating aspects of parental reminders and education. All interventions were to some extent effective, although findings were generally heterogeneous and random effects models were estimated.Receiving both postal and telephone reminders was the most effective reminder-based intervention (RD = 0.1132; 95% CI = 0.033–0.193). Sub-group analyses suggested that educational interventions were more effective in low- and middle-income countries (RD = 0.13; 95% CI = 0.05–0.22) and when conducted through discussion (RD = 0.12; 95% CI = 0.02–0.21). Current evidence most supports the use of postal reminders as part of the standard management of childhood immunisations. Parents at high risk of non-compliance may benefit from recall strategies and/or discussion-based forums, however further research is needed to assess the appropriateness of these strategies.
    1. Vaccination is one of the great achievements of the 20th century, yet persistent public-health problems include inadequate, delayed, and unstable vaccination uptake. Psychology offers three general propositions for understanding and intervening to increase uptake where vaccines are available and affordable. The first proposition is that thoughts and feelings can motivate getting vaccinated. Hundreds of studies have shown that risk beliefs and anticipated regret about infectious disease correlate reliably with getting vaccinated; low confidence in vaccine effectiveness and concern about safety correlate reliably with not getting vaccinated. We were surprised to find that few randomized trials have successfully changed what people think and feel about vaccines, and those few that succeeded were minimally effective in increasing uptake. The second proposition is that social processes can motivate getting vaccinated. Substantial research has shown that social norms are associated with vaccination, but few interventions examined whether normative messages increase vaccination uptake. Many experimental studies have relied on hypothetical scenarios to demonstrate that altruism and free riding (i.e., taking advantage of the protection provided by others) can affect intended behavior, but few randomized trials have tested strategies to change social processes to increase vaccination uptake. The third proposition is that interventions can facilitate vaccination directly by leveraging, but not trying to change, what people think and feel. These interventions are by far the most plentiful and effective in the literature. To increase vaccine uptake, these interventions build on existing favorable intentions by facilitating action (through reminders, prompts, and primes) and reducing barriers (through logistics and healthy defaults); these interventions also shape behavior (through incentives, sanctions, and requirements). Although identification of principles for changing thoughts and feelings to motivate vaccination is a work in progress, psychological principles can now inform the design of systems and policies to directly facilitate action.
    1. How will the world change as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic? What can people do to best adapt to the societal changes ahead? To answer these questions, over the course of the summer-fall 2020 we launched the World After COVID Project, interviewing more than 50 of the world’s leading scholars in the behavioral and social sciences, including fellows of national academies and presidents of major scientific societies. Experts independently shared their thoughts on what effects the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our societies and provided advice for successful response to new challenges and opportunities. Using mixed-method and natural language processing analyses, we distilled and analyzed these predictions and suggestions, observing a diversity of scenarios. Results also show that half of the experts approach their post-Covid predictions dialectically, highlighting both positive and negative features of the same prediction. Moreover, prosocial goals and meta-cognition—two chief tenants of the Common Wisdom model—were evident in their recommendations for how to cope with possible changes. The project provides a time capsule of experts’ predictions during major societal changes. We discuss implications for strengthening focus on prediction (vs. mere explanation) in psychological science as well as the value of uncertainty and dialecticism in forecasting.
    1. When the number of COVID-19 cases began to rise again in Manaus, Brazil, in December 2020, Nuno Faria was stunned. The virologist at Imperial College London and associate professor at the University of Oxford had just co-authored a paper in Science estimating that three-quarters of the city’s inhabitants had already been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic coronavirus—more than enough, it seemed, for herd immunity to develop. The virus should be done with Manaus. Yet hospitals were filling up again. “It was hard to reconcile these two things,” Faria says. He started to hunt for samples he could sequence to find out whether changes in the virus could explain the resurgence.
    1. Many states have launched their vaccination programs, which is both exciting and confusing. Who, where, when, how, many people are asking. There is confusion about the timing, who is eligible, where to sign up. In some cases, overwhelmed phone hotlines or websites. So, in an effort to inform and dispel myths, this week’s post is dedicating to bringing together some of the information I have read about or heard about so far.
    1. Researchers in the Netherlands, the United States, and Belgium have presented early-stage clinical trial results demonstrating the safety and efficacy of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine candidate for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Phase 1–2a interim results show that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic in both younger and older adults after just a single dose, thereby supporting evaluation in phase 3 trials.
    1. IN A bid to vaccinate as many people as fast as possible, the UK is taking an unorthodox strategy against covid-19. The country is eking out its vaccine supply by making most people wait three months to get their second dose of the two-shot regimen.
    1. BackgroundEfficacious vaccines are urgently needed to contain the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A candidate vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, is a recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector encoding a full-length and stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. MethodsIn this multicenter, placebo-controlled, phase 1–2a trial, we randomly assigned healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 years (cohort 1) and those 65 years of age or older (cohort 3) to receive the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine at a dose of 5×1010 viral particles (low dose) or 1×1011 viral particles (high dose) per milliliter or placebo in a single-dose or two-dose schedule. Longer-term data comparing a single-dose regimen with a two-dose regimen are being collected in cohort 2; those results are not reported here. The primary end points were the safety and reactogenicity of each dose schedule. ResultsAfter the administration of the first vaccine dose in 805 participants in cohorts 1 and 3 and after the second dose in cohort 1, the most frequent solicited adverse events were fatigue, headache, myalgia, and injection-site pain. The most frequent systemic adverse event was fever. Systemic adverse events were less common in cohort 3 than in cohort 1 and in those who received the low vaccine dose than in those who received the high dose. Reactogenicity was lower after the second dose. Neutralizing-antibody titers against wild-type virus were detected in 90% or more of all participants on day 29 after the first vaccine dose (geometric mean titer [GMT], 224 to 354) and reached 100% by day 57 with a further increase in titers (GMT, 288 to 488), regardless of vaccine dose or age group. Titers remained stable until at least day 71. A second dose provided an increase in the titer by a factor of 2.6 to 2.9 (GMT, 827 to 1266). Spike-binding antibody responses were similar to neutralizing-antibody responses. On day 14, CD4+ T-cell responses were detected in 76 to 83% of the participants in cohort 1 and in 60 to 67% of those in cohort 3, with a clear skewing toward type 1 helper T cells. CD8+ T-cell responses were robust overall but lower in cohort 3. ConclusionsThe safety and immunogenicity profiles of Ad26.COV2.S support further development of this vaccine candidate. (Funded by Johnson & Johnson and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services; COV1001 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04436276. opens in new tab.)
  2. Jan 2021
    1. Science has been invaluable in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. However, science is not flawless: especially research that is performed and written up under high time pressure may be susceptible to errors. Luckily, one of the core principles of science is its ability to self-correct. Traditionally, scientific self-correction is achieved through replication, but this takes time and resources; both of which are scarce. In this chapter, I argue for an additional, more efficient self-correction mechanism: analytical reproducibility checks.
    1. This report summarises some of what is known and unknown about trust in news, what is contributing to changing attitudes about news worldwide, and how media organisations are responding to increased digital competition. The report combines an extensive review of existing research on the subject along with findings from 82 in-depth interviews with journalists and other practitioners across Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States – four countries with varying media and political systems. The report argues that there is no single ‘trust in news’ problem but rather multiple challenges involving both the supply of news and the public’s demand for information. Empirical evidence about what works, with whom, and under what circumstances, remains lacking, especially around the role played by platform companies. The report emphasises the need to grapple with trade-offs. Some efforts to regain or retain trust in accurate and reliable news are likely to alienate some audiences over others.
    1. Rich nations have struggled with one of the most basic and important methods for controlling infectious diseases.
    1. The dynamics of network social contagion processes such as opinion formation and epidemic spreading are often mediated by interactions between multiple nodes. Previous results have shown that these higher-order interactions can profoundly modify the dynamics of contagion processes, resulting in bistability, hysteresis, and explosive transitions. In this paper, we present and analyze a hyperdegree-based mean-field description of the dynamics of the SIS model on hypergraphs, i.e. networks with higher-order interactions, and illustrate its applicability with the example of a hypergraph where contagion is mediated by both links (pairwise interactions) and triangles (three-way interactions). We consider various models for the organization of link and triangle structure, and different mechanisms of higher-order contagion and healing. We find that explosive transitions can be suppressed by heterogeneity in the link degree distribution, when links and triangles are chosen independently, or when link and triangle connections are positively correlated when compared to the uncorrelated case. We verify these results with microscopic simulations of the contagion process and with analytic predictions derived from the mean-field model. Our results show that the structure of higher-order interactions can have important effects on contagion processes on hypergraphs.
    1. Picking up on a suggestion by Dawn Liu Xiaodan at the University of Essex, I'd like to raise the following question:What do we know (either from theory, experiment, but probably more importantly from actual experience in real world contexts, including this pandemic) about when compulsion helps, or undercuts, protective behaviour (e.g., social distancing, mask wearing, remote working, etc)?
    1. UNCTAD estimates that for every $1 million lost in international tourism revenue, a country’s national income could drop by up to $3 million. The effects on employment could be dramatic.
    1. As Covid-19 spreads across the world, governments turn a hopeful eye towards research and development of a vaccine against this new disease. But it is one thing to make a vaccine available, and it is quite another to convince the public to take the shot, as the precedent of the 2009 H1N1 flu illustrated. In this paper, we present the results of four online surveys conducted in April 2020 in representative samples of the French population 18 years of age and over (N=5,018). These surveys were conducted during a period when the French population was on lockdown and the daily number of deaths attributed to the virus reached its peak. We found that if a vaccine against the new coronavirus became available, almost a quarter of respondents would not use it. We also found that attitudes to this vaccine were correlated significantly with political partisanship and engagement with the political system. Attitudes towards this future vaccine did not follow the traditional mapping of political attitudes along a Left-Right axis but oppose people who feel close to governing parties (Centre, Left and Right) on the one hand, and, on the other, people who feel close to Far-Left and Far-Right parties as well as people who do not feel close to any party. We draw on the French sociological literature on ordinary attitudes to politics to discuss our results as well as the cultural pathways via which political beliefs can affect perceptions of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    1. Call for Code — created by David Clark Cause and supported by Founding Partner IBM and Charitable Partner United Nations Human Rights — invites developers and problem solvers to build solutions that take on societal issues. Together with The Linux Foundation, we support the deployment of open source solutions around the world.
    1. The total impact of the coronavirus pandemic—the loss of life and the economic, social, and psychological costs arising from both the pandemic itself and the policies implemented to prevent its spread—defy any characterization. Though the pandemic continues to unsettle, disrupt, and challenge communities, we might take a moment to appreciate and applaud the diversity, breadth, and scope of our responses—from individual actions to national policies—and even more important, to reflect on how they will produce a post–Covid-19 world far better than the world that preceded it. In this brief essay, I describe how our adaptive responses to the coronavirus will lead to beneficial policy innovations. I do so from the perspective of a many-model thinker.1New York: Basic Books, 2018More Info → By that I mean that I will use several formal models to theoretically elucidate the potential pathways to creating a better world. I offer this with the intent that it instills optimism that our current efforts to confront this tragic and difficult challenge will do more than combat the virus now and teach us how to combat future viruses. They will, in the long run, result in an enormous number of innovations in policy, business practices, and our daily lives.
    1. The COVID-19 pandemic has led many gov­ern­ments to implement lockdowns. While lockdowns may help to contain the spread of the virus, they may result in sub­stan­tial damage to pop­u­la­tion well-​being. We use Google Trends data to test whether the lockdowns im­ple­mented in Europe and America led to changes in well-​being related topic search terms. Using differences-​in-differences and a re­gres­sion dis­con­ti­nu­ity design to evaluate the causal effects of lockdown, we find a sub­stan­tial increase in the search intensity for boredom in Europe and the US. We also found a sig­nif­i­cant increase in searches for lone­li­ness, worry and sadness, while searches for stress, suicide and divorce on the contrary fell. Our results suggest that people’s mental health may have been severely affected by the lockdown.
    1. In a novel real-​effort setting, we ex­per­i­men­tally study the effects of different com­mu­ni­ca­tion media on creative per­for­mance in a col­lab­o­ra­tive tasks. We find that creative per­for­mance sig­nif­i­cantly decreases when group members com­mu­ni­cate via chat instead of face-​to-face. However, we find no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence between per­for­mances of groups that com­mu­ni­cate via video con­fer­ences as compared to face-​to-face. Thus, we provide evidence that barriers to cre­ativ­ity in virtual teams can be mitigated by real-time video con­fer­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tion.
    1. In public good provision and other col­lec­tive action problems, people are uncertain about how to balance self-​interest and proso­cial­ity. Actions of others may inform this decision. We conduct an ex­per­i­ment to test the effect of watching private citizens and public officials acting in ways that either increase or decrease the spread of the coro­n­avirus. For private role models, positive examples lead to a 34% increase in donations to the CDC Emergency Fund and a 20% increase in learning about COVID-19-related vol­un­teer­ing compared to negative examples. For public role models these effects are reversed. Negative examples lead to a 29% and 53% increase in donations and vol­un­teer­ing, re­spec­tively. Results are con­sis­tent with the Norm Ac­ti­va­tion Model: positive private role models lead to more prosocial behavior because they increase norms of trust, while negative public role models increase a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity among in­di­vid­u­als which convinces them to act more proso­cially.
    1. We examine the short-​term impact of COVID-19 on con­sump­tion spending and labor market outcomes. Using monthly panel data of in­di­vid­u­als mainly aged 50–70 in Singapore, we find that COVID-19 reduced con­sump­tion spending and labor market outcomes im­me­di­ately after its outbreak, and its negative impact quickly evolved. At its peak, the pandemic reduced total household con­sump­tion spending by 22.8% and labor income by 5.9% in April. Prob­a­bil­ity of full-time work also went down by 1.2 pp and 6.0 pp in April and May, re­spec­tively, but em­ploy­ment and self-​employment were only mildly affected. Our het­ero­gene­ity analysis indicates that the reduction in con­sump­tion spending was greater among those with higher net worth, while the decreases in labor market outcomes were greater among those with lower net worth. However, we find little evidence that those in worse health status ex­pe­ri­enced larger re­duc­tions in con­sump­tion spending and labor market outcomes. Re­duc­tions in con­sump­tion spending cor­re­lated with increased risk avoidance behavior, the na­tion­wide partial lockdown, worsening economic outlook, and reduced income.
    1. Social dis­tanc­ing re­stric­tions and demand shifts from COVID-19 are expected to shutter many small busi­nesses, but there is very little early evidence on impacts. This paper provides the first analysis of impacts of the pandemic on the number of active small busi­nesses in the United States using na­tion­ally rep­re­sen­ta­tive data from the April 2020 CPS – the first month fully capturing early effects from the pandemic. The number of active business owners in the United States plummeted by 3.3 million or 22 percent over the crucial two-month window from February to April 2020. The drop in business owners was the largest on record, and losses were felt across nearly all in­dus­tries and even for in­cor­po­rated busi­nesses. African-​American busi­nesses were hit es­pe­cially hard ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a 41 percent drop. Latinx business owners fell by 32 percent, and Asian business owners dropped by 26 percent. Sim­u­la­tions indicate that industry com­po­si­tions partly placed these groups at a higher risk of losses. Immigrant business owners ex­pe­ri­enced sub­stan­tial losses of 36 percent. Female-​owned busi­nesses were also dis­pro­por­tion­ately hit by 25 percent. These findings of early-​stage losses to small busi­nesses have important policy im­pli­ca­tions and may portend longer-​term ram­i­fi­ca­tions for job losses and economic in­equal­ity.
    1. and medical authority. Why am I – a public health doctor – so distressed by the mandatory masks policy?  And why are people telling me it would be brave to write about this? I’ve been wondering for a while why I feel so upset about it.  I’ve no health or disability exemptions, and can wear a mask with no more inconvenience than anyone else.  My menagerie of relatives and friends with deafness, cognitive difficulties or other exemptions is average.  Does it trigger memories of being mugged in the dark ?  Nice try, but I haven’t thought about that for years. 
    1. Healthcare workers (HCWs) have been recommended to receive first priority for limited COVID-19 vaccines. They have also been identified as potential ambassadors of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, helping to ensure that sufficient members of a hesitant public accept COVID-19 vaccines to achieve population immunity. Yet HCWs themselves have shown vaccine hesitancy in other contexts and the few prior surveys of U.S. HCW intentions to receive a COVID-19 vaccine report acceptance rates of only 28% to 34%. However, it is unknown whether HCW acceptance remains low following mid-November announcements of the efficacy of the first COVID-19 vaccines and the issuance of two emergency use authorizations (EUA) in December. We report the results of a December 2020 survey (N = 16,158; response rate 61%) administered by a large Pennsylvania health system to determine the intentions of its employees to receive a vaccine when it is offered to them. In a mixed sample of individuals serving in patient-facing and other roles, 55% would decide to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when offered, 16.4% would not, and 28.5% reported being undecided. The distribution of responses varied little across hospital campuses, between those in patient-facing roles and other HCWs, or by area or department of work. The higher rate of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance we observe may reflect the framing and timing of our survey. Among hesitant respondents, an overwhelming majority (90.3%) reported concerns about unknown risks and insufficient data. Other commonly reported concerns included known side effects (57.4%) and wanting to wait until they see how it goes with others (44.4%). We observed a substantial increase in self-reported intent to receive a COVID-19 vaccine after an FDA advisory committee voted to recommend an EUA. Among respondents who completed the survey after that point in time, 79% intend to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (n = 1155). Although only suggestive, this trend offers hope that rates of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance may be higher among HCWs and, perhaps, the general public than more hypothetical survey results have indicated.
    1. The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made the world seem unpredictable. During such crises we can experience concerns that others might be against us, culminating perhaps in paranoid conspiracy theories. Here, we investigate paranoia and belief updating in an online sample (N=1,010) in the United States of America (U.S.A). We demonstrate the pandemic increased individuals’ self-rated paranoia and rendered their task-based belief updating more erratic. Local lockdown and reopening policies, as well as culture more broadly, markedly influenced participants’ belief-updating: an early and sustained lockdown rendered people’s belief updating less capricious. Masks are clearly an effective public health measure against COVID-19. However, state-mandated mask wearing increased paranoia and induced more erratic behaviour. Remarkably, this was most evident in those states where adherence to mask wearing rules was poor but where rule following is typically more common. This paranoia may explain the lack of compliance with this simple and effective countermeasure. Computational analyses of participant behaviour suggested that people with higher paranoia expected the task to be more unstable, but at the same time predicted more rewards. In a follow-up study we found people who were more paranoid endorsed conspiracies about mask-wearing and potential vaccines – again, mask attitude and conspiratorial beliefs were associated with erratic task behaviour and changed priors. Future public health responses to the pandemic might leverage these observations, mollifying paranoia and increasing adherence by tempering people’s expectations of other’s behaviour, and the environment more broadly, and reinforcing compliance.
    1. Purpose: Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is an urgent matter, and a global concern for several countries across the world highlighted high numbers and percentages also before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, international states and organizations have claimed an increase in IPV numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic, raising awareness of the potential causes and providing urgent recommendations and guidelines to follow for the containment and possible interventions. Based on these priorities, this review aims to explore and analyze the existing scientific literature on the association and consequences of COVID-19 on Domestic Violence and to sum up the strategies and recommendations for clinicians and health care workers. Methods: The electronic databases of PubMed, Scopus and Science of Direct were searched. Papers published between 2019 and 2020, written in English and having as main focus the domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, were included. Results: At the final stage, 60 articles were included and analyzed. Results pointed three pre-determined categories: the course, the dynamics, the recommendations and an adjunctive category DV and disasters. Conclusions: Since COVID-19 is responsible for a spike in DV cases, it is essential to implement specific and shared assessment strategies and targeted interventions in order to prevent the adverse outcomes of IPV.
    1. In the context of a recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the present study investigated the buffering effect of grit on the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and psychological distress. The data were collected from 224 Japanese participants (98 females; mean age = 46.56, SD = 13.41) in July 2020. The measures used in this study included the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S), Short Grit Scale, and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale 21 (DASS). The results of mediation analyses revealed significant indirect effects of consistency of interest, a major component of grit, on psychological distress; we also found non-significant indirect effects of perseverance of effort, another major component of grit, on psychological distress. These results suggest that consistency of interest buffers the psychological distress induced by fear of COVID-19. Based on these results, it can be concluded that individuals with higher consistency of interest are less likely to experience worsening of their mental health, even if they experience fear of COVID-19 during the pandemic.
    1. We investigated the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the modality of cognitive assessments (in-person versus remote assessments). We created a web-based questionnaire with 34 items and collected data from 114 respondents from a range of health care professions and settings. We established the proportion of cognitive assessments which were face-to-face or via video or telephone conferencing, both pre- and post-March 2020. Further, we asked respondents about the assessment tools used and perceived barriers, challenges and facilitators for the remote assessment of cognition. In addition, we asked questions specifically about the use of the Oxford Cognitive Screen. We found that the frequency of assessing cognition was stable compared to pre-pandemic levels. Use of telephone and video conferencing cognitive assessments increased by 10% and 18% respectively. Remote assessment increased accessibility to participants and safety but made observing the subtleties of behaviour during test administration difficult. The respondents called for an increase in the availability of standardised, validated, and normed remote assessments. We conclude that the pandemic has not been detrimental to the frequency of cognitive assessments. In addition, a shift in clinical practice to include remote cognitive assessments is clear and wider availability of validated and standardised remote assessments is necessary.
    1. As the United States continues to be ravaged by COVID-19, it becomes increasingly important to implement effective public health campaigns to improve personal behaviors that help control the spread of the virus. To design effective campaigns, research is needed to understand the current mitigation intentions of the general public, diversity in those intentions, and theoretical predictors of them. COVID-19 campaigns will be particularly challenging because mitigation involves myriad, diverse behaviors. This study takes a person-centered approach to investigate data from a survey (N = 976) of Pennsylvania adults. Latent class analysis revealed five classes of mitigation: one marked by complete adherence with health recommendations (34% of the sample), one by complete refusal (9% of the sample), and three by a mixture of adherence and refusal. Statistically significant covariates of class membership included relatively negative injunctive norms, risk due to essential workers in the household, personal knowledge of someone who became infected with COVID-19, and belief that COVID-19 was a leaked biological weapon. Additionally, trait reactance was associated with non-adherence while health mavenism was associated with adherence. These findings may be used to good effect by local healthcare providers and institutions, and also inform broader policy-making decisions regarding public health campaigns to mitigate COVID-19.
    1. Fear is an evolutionary adaptive emotion that serves to protect the organism from harm. Once a threat diminishes, fear should also dissipate as otherwise fear may become chronic and pathological. While threat (i.e., number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has substantially varied over time, it remains unclear whether fear has followed a similar pattern. To examine the development of fear of COVID-19 and investigate potential predictors for chronic fear, we conducted a large online longitudinal study (N = 2000) using the Prolific platform. Participants represented unselected residents of 34 different countries. The Fear of the Coronavirus Questionnaire (FCQ) and several other demographic and psychological measures were completed monthly between March and August 2020. Overall, we find that fear steadily decreased after a peak in April 2020. Additional analyses showed that elevated fear was predicted by region (i.e., North America), anxious traits, and media use.
    1. The C.D.C. director will decide by Wednesday whether to accept the recommendation. States aren’t required to follow it, but most are expected to.
    1. COVID vaccination intentions vary among the US population. We report the results of a nationally representative survey undertaken in July 2020 (N=889) that examined the association of six vaccine-specific beliefs with intentions to vaccinate. We find that four of the six beliefs have substantial associations with intention (Gammas between .60 and .77), that the associations mostly do not vary with gender, age, race/ethnicity, or misinformation (even though intentions do vary with each of those variables). Also, once adjusted for the vaccine-specific beliefs, level of misinformation is not related to intentions. We consider the implications of these results and argue both that persuasive campaigns can be informed by these specific results, and given rapid changes in vaccine availability, that there is a substantial need for elaborated and repeated follow-up
    1. Background: This study assesses attitudes towards vaccination in mothers of new-born babies and explores its association with different exposures to communication. Methods: Data were collected through questionnaires administered by means of interviews. Results: Data highlighted that 20% of mothers showed an orientation towards vaccine hesitancy. As for the reasons behind the attitude to vaccine hesitancy, data showed that concern is a common feature. As for the different exposures to communication, 49% of mothers did not remember having received or looked for any information about vaccination during pregnancy and post-partum; 25% stated they received information from several healthcare and non-healthcare sources; 26% declared having received or looked for information by means of healthcare and non-healthcare sources, as well as having taken part in a specific meeting during antenatal classes or at birth centres. The attitude towards vaccine hesitancy tends to reduce as exposure to different communication increases. Conclusions: This study supports the hypothesis that participation in interactive meetings in small groups focused on vaccination during the prenatal course or at the birth point may act as an enabling factor contributing to a decrease in the tendency to experience vaccine hesitation.
    1. Faced with outbreaks of influenza and other vaccine-preventable diseases, parents, educators, healthcare providers, and policymakers around the world often want to know how to persuade people to get their vaccinations. But a comprehensive review of the scientific findings from research on vaccination behavior shows that the most effective interventions focus directly on shaping patients’ and parents’ behavior instead of trying to change their minds.
    1. More than 200 COVID-19 vaccines are in development worldwide, with governments securing deals to access advance doses. But access is only one issue. Willingness to accept a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available has varied considerably across countries over the course of the pandemic. In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, we presented data collected in Australia in April, 2020,1Dodd RH Cvejic E Bonner C Pickles K McCaffery K Willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 in Australia.Lancet Infect Dis. 2020; (published online June 30.)https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30559-4Summary Full Text Full Text PDF PubMed Scopus (8) Google Scholar which suggested 86% of people surveyed (3741 of 4362) would be willing to vaccinate against COVID-19 if a vaccine became available. Furthermore, the COCONEL group2The COCONEL GroupA future vaccination campaign against COVID-19 at risk of vaccine hesitancy and politicisation.Lancet Infect Dis. 2020; 20: 769-770Summary Full Text Full Text PDF PubMed Scopus (18) Google Scholar showed in March, 2020, that 74% of French citizens would vaccinate. Between April and July, 2020, willingness to vaccinate has ranged from 58% in the USA3Fisher KA Bloomstone SJ Walder J Crawford S Fouayzi H Mazor KM Attitudes toward a potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine: a survey of US adults.Ann Intern Med. 2020; (published online Sept 4.)https://doi.org/10.7326/M20-3569Crossref Google Scholar to 64% in the UK4Sherman S Smith L Sim J et al.COVID-19 vaccination intention in the UK: results from the COVID-19 Vaccination Acceptability Study (CoVAccS), a nationally representative cross-sectional survey.medRxiv. 2020; (published online Aug 14.) (preprint, version 1)https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.13.20174045Google Scholar and 74% in New Zealand.5Menon RGV Thaker J Aotearoa-New Zealand public attitudes to COVID-19 vaccine.https://mro.massey.ac.nz/handle/10179/15567Date: Aug 20, 2020Google Scholar The New Zealand data showed that the most commonly reported reasons to get vaccinated were to protect family and self, with safety being the chief concern about the vaccine. It is important to investigate both motivations and concerns about a future COVID-19 vaccine to help shape communication strategies.
    1. This handbook is for journalists, doctors, nurses, policy makers, researchers, teachers, students, parents – in short, it’s for everyone who wants to know more: about the COVID-19 vaccines, how to talk to others about them, how to challenge misinformation about the vaccines. The handbook is available in form of a PDF and also of  a "living wiki". The pdf  version is self-contained but additionally provides access to the “wiki” with more detailed information Vaccination behaviour is a complex topic and many of the concepts involved are interlinked. The visualisation below gives an idea of the interconnectivity of higher and lower level mappings of the pages in the Wiki
    1. If asked, many scientists would probably agree with the statement ‘Natural infection gives better immunity than vaccination’. Indeed, if one survives the infection, there are certainly many pathogens for which natural infection induces stronger immune responses and more long-lived immunity than does vaccination. Measles is prototypic of this1. While there was a clear risk, after infection, of death, encephalitis and pneumonia before there was a vaccine, survivors gained lifelong immunity. Vaccination against measles, on the other hand, requires two shots and may not offer lifelong complete protection but has proven to be good enough to keep the disease in check when widely implemented.
    1. Global efforts for development of a COVID-19 vaccine are yielding multiple results including some new and as yet unlicensed technologies.1Le TT Cramer JP Chen R Mayhew S Evolution of the COVID-19 vaccine development landscape.Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2020; 19: 667-668Crossref PubMed Scopus (17) Google Scholar Reception of these vaccine candidates by a skeptical public will challenge wide acceptance of new vaccines. Regulatory safety thresholds are a minimum bar that a product must pass to attain regulatory approval, but for the general public, cumulative safety experience will be important. Trust is earned with time, and with repeated experience. Vaccines have a long safety history, but COVID-19 vaccines are new. In this context, Yanjun Zhang and colleagues' report of their phase 1/2 trial of a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine in The Lancet Infectious Diseases is instructive.2Zhang Y Zheng G Pan H et al.Safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in healthy adults aged 18–59 years: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1/2 clinical trial.Lancet Infect Dis. 2020; (published online Nov 17.)https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30843-4Google Scholar
    1. The coronavirus situation represents both a health crisis and a communications emergency – especially as we enter the vaccination phase. With a significant minority expressing a degree of hesitancy about receiving a coronavirus vaccine, clear and effective communication about the benefits and risks (or lack of) will undoubtedly be important for maximising uptake. At the same time, many familiar communication challenges – such as convincing people of the need to limit social contact, to wear face coverings, and to wash their hands – will be just as important for much of 2021 as they were in 2020. Perhaps more so, if the vaccine rollout is accompanied by a sense of complacency about taking basic precautions.
    1. It’s three from three as far as positive outcomes from COVID vaccine trials are concerned but Monday’s announcement from AstraZeneca and Oxford University, at a first glance, may not seem to be as exciting as those from Pfizer and BioNTech, and Moderna. Furthermore, the figures are a bit of a head scratcher, so let’s look at them in more detail.
    1. A Wisconsin pharmacist convinced the world was “crashing down” told police he tried to ruin hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine, because he believed the shots would mutate people’s DNA, according to court documents released on Monday.
    1. Despite the efficacy of approved vaccines, the number of people who intend to get immunised against COVID-19 is down in many countries, making the sought-after ‘herd immunity’ more complicated to reach
    1. Government ministers should stop politicising the Covid-19 vaccine by boasting about being the first to license it, the head of a leading research group has said. Heidi Larson, the director of the London-based Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP), said the government should instead focus on building support for the jab or it will lose the confidence and trust of the British people.
    1. The COVID-19 vaccines furthest along in clinical trials are the fastest to make, but they are also the hardest to deploy.
    1. The Trump administration spurred development of a vaccine; the Biden administration has to persuade Americans to take it.
  3. Dec 2020
    1. Social distancing measures following the outbreak of COVID-19 have led to a rapid shift to virtual and telephone care. Social workers and mental health providers in VA home-based primary care (HBPC) teams face challenges providing psychosocial support to their homebound, medically complex, socially isolated patient population who are high risk for poor health outcomes related to COVID-19. We developed and disseminated an 8-week telephone or virtual group intervention for front-line HBPC social workers and mental health providers to use with socially isolated, medically complex older adults. The intervention draws on skills from evidence-based psychotherapies for older adults including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and Problem-Solving Therapy. The manual was disseminated to VA HBPC clinicians and geriatrics providers across the United States in March 2020 for expeditious implementation. Eighteen HBPC teams and three VA Primary Care teams reported immediate delivery of a local virtual or telephone group using the manual. In this paper we describe the manual’s development and clinical recommendations for its application across geriatric care settings. Future evaluation will identify ways to meet longer-term social isolation and evolving mental health needs for this patient population as the pandemic continues.
    1. Two Arab nations have become the first countries to approve a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, a significant boost for China’s plans to roll out its vaccines worldwide. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) approved a vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned Sinopharm on 9 December, and Bahrain followed days later. But researchers say a lack of public data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine could hinder the company’s plans to distribute the vaccine in a range of other countries.
    1. The Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine has passed safety and efficacy tests — but researchers still have many questions about how this and other vaccines will perform as they’re rolled out to millions of people.
    1. THE END OF covid-19 is in sight, as effective vaccines move closer to approval. However, society faces a new crisis: uptake. If too few people agree to get immunised, the value of a vaccine will be limited—and the world could face a situation much like today’s, with many ill and dying, social isolation and withering economies. But behavioural science can help.
    1. The World Health Organization is holding discussions on Monday about the feasibility of trials in which healthy young volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to hasten vaccine development – amid questions over whether they should go ahead given the promising data from the frontrunner vaccine candidates.
    1. Faces are one of the key ways that we obtain social information about others. They allow people to identify individuals, understand conversational cues, and make judgements about other’s mental states. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, widespread mask-wearing practices were implemented, causing a shift in the way Americans typically interact. This introduction of masks into social exchanges posed a potential challenge – how would people make these important inferences about others when a large source of information was no longer available? We conducted two studies that investigated the impact of mask exposure on emotion perception. In particular, we measured how participants used facial landmarks (visual cues) and the expressed valence and arousal (affective cues), to make similarity judgements about pairs of emotion faces. Study 1 found that participants with higher levels of mask exposure used cues from the eyes to a greater extent when judging emotion similarity than participants with less mask exposure. Study 2 measured participants’ emotion perception in both April and September 2020 – before and after widespread mask adoption – in the same group of participants to examine changes in the use of facial cues over time. Results revealed an overall increase in the use of visual cues from April to September. Further, as mask exposure increased, people with the most social interaction showed the largest increase in the use of visual facial cues. These results provide evidence that a shift has occurred in how people process faces such that the more people are interacting with others that are wearing masks, the more they have learned to focus on visual cues from the eye area of the face.
    1. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing protective facial masks has become a divisive issue, yet little is known about what drives differences in mask wearing across individuals. We surveyed 711 people around the world, asking about mask wearing and several other variables. We found that people who reported greater perceived risk of infection, stress, and those with greater consideration of future consequences reported wearing masks more often during in-person interactions. Participants who knew more people who had been infected and those who lived in postal codes with higher prevalence of COVID-19 perceived their risk of infection to be higher and reported greater pandemic-related stress. Perceived risk of infection and pandemic-related stress were higher overall in women and those reporting greater future-orientedness. Finally, participants who were more politically conservative reported lower perceived risk of becoming infected and lower stress than those who were more liberal, but there was no reliable difference in mask wearing between these groups. This is the first of four papers investigating mask wearing using this data set; the forthcoming papers will focus on predicting attitudes and motivations about mask wearing, the situations in which people do and do not report wearing masks, and the extent to which people report mask wearing in their communities. This is part of a broader study to understand the psychological and social influences on mask wearing and, more broadly, the impacts of the pandemic on human behavior and social interactions.
    1. The COVID-19 pandemic has required people worldwide to adjust their behavior for several months in response to a crisis of rare proportions. Little is known about the specific factors that affected the progression of the public’s reactions during the pandemic. Individual factors associated with pandemic-related behavior in general, and compliance with public health measures in particular, are not firmly established. We undertook a survey of behavior, emotions, reasoning style, and mental health in the province of Quebec at the beginning, the peak, and the aftermath of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recruited 530 responders from a convenience sample; 154 responders participated in all three surveys. Emotions were most intense at the beginning of the first wave of the pandemic, not at its peak. Responders’ compliance with three public health measures decreased between the peak and the aftermath of the first wave of the pandemic; however, mask wearing also became more common. Pandemic-related behavior in general, and compliance with public health measures specifically, were predicted by avoidance-related emotions evoked by the pandemic. Approach-related emotions linked to the societal response contributed specifically to the prediction of compliance with public health measures. In contrast, reasoning style and mental health did not as consistently predict behavior during the pandemic. Our research may help inform public health policy during other waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and future global health crises.
    1. The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy is well documented, with widespread furloughs, job loss, and financial insecurity. Concerns have been raised about increases in maladaptive coping behaviours such as gambling, to offset financial losses. Similarly, as individuals spend increased time at home, new populations may initiate or increase the frequency of gambling behaviours. The current study used a large longitudinal study of UK adults (N = 32,559) to examine a range of sociodemographic, stress, and health predictors of (i) gambling during strict lockdown (March to the first week of June 2020), (ii) gambling more frequently during strict lockdown compared to before lockdown, and (iii) continued increased rates of gambling during the relaxing of lockdown restrictions (end of July/early August 2020) compared to earlier in the lockdown (late May/early June 2020). Results from a logistic regression indicated that males, older ages, the employed, those with progressively lower levels of education, who lived in overcrowded accommodation, were highly bored, frequently drank alcohol, smoked or were ex-smokers, and had high risk-taking tendencies were more likely to gamble during strict lockdown. Individuals who were more likely to have increased their frequency of gambling during strict lockdown compared to before the lockdown were highly bored, employed, frequently drank alcohol, and had depression and anxiety, whilst men and current smokers were less likely. As lockdown restrictions eased, individuals of ethnic minority backgrounds, who were current smokers, and with lower education attainment were more likely to continue gambling at heightened rates. This suggests which risk groups should be targeted and provided with more effective coping strategies.
    1. Background: On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The social isolation and economic stress resulting from pandemic have the potential to exacerbate child abuse and neglect. Objective: This study examines the association of parents’ perceived social isolation and recent employment loss to risk for child maltreatment (neglect, verbal aggression, and physical punishment) in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants and Setting: Participants (N = 283) were adults living in the U.S. who were parents of at least one child 0-12 years of age. Methods: Participants completed an online survey approximately 2 weeks after the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic. The survey asked about recent changes (i.e., in the past 2 weeks) to employment status, parenting behaviors, use of discipline, use of spanking, and depressive symptoms. Results: Parents’ perceived social isolation and recent employment loss were associated with self-report of physical and emotional neglect and verbal aggression against the child, even after statistically controlling for parental depressive symptoms, income, and sociodemographic factors. Parents’ perceived social isolation was associated with parental report of changes in discipline, specifically, using discipline and spanking more often in the past 2 weeks. Associations were robust to analyses that included two variables that assessed days spent social distancing and days spent in “lockdown.” Conclusions: Study results point to the need for mental health supports to parents and children to ameliorate the strain created by COVID-19.
    1. To win the war on COVID-19, we need a multi-pronged public health strategy that includes a national testing plan that utilizes widespread frequent rapid antigen tests to stop the spread of the virus. We need to think strategically and creatively, be bold, and most importantly, not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.
    1. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, an understanding of the structure and organization of beliefs in pandemic conspiracy theories and misinformation becomes increasingly critical for addressing the threat posed by these dubious ideas. In polling Americans about beliefs in 11 such ideas, we observed clear groupings of beliefs that correspond with different individual-level characteristics (e.g., support for Trump, distrust of scientists) and behavioral intentions (e.g., to take a vaccine, to engage in social activities). Moreover, we found that conspiracy theories enjoy more support, on average, than misinformation about dangerous health practices. Our findings suggest several paths for policymakers, communicators, and scientists to minimize the spread and impact of COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories.
    1. The Oxford–AstraZeneca partnership is the first major developer to publish detailed data from phase III trials.
    1. Three quarters of the population of Manaus in Brazil's Amazon have been infected with coronavirus since the city's first outbreak in March. Researchers from Imperial's COVID-19 Response Team, and a team of international collaborators found that:  76% population in Manaus became infected with SARS-CoV-2 between March and October 2020 In contrast, they find that 29% became infected in São Paulo, the first city detecting SARS-CoV-2 circulation in Latin America
    1. BackgroundA safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials.MethodsThis analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 1010 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674.FindingsBetween April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0–75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4–97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; pinteraction=0·010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70·4% (95·8% CI 54·8–80·6; 30 [0·5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1·7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3·4 months, IQR 1·3–4·8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation.InterpretationChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials.
    1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dean Michelle Williams presents "COVID-19: Chasing Science to Save Lives," When Public Health Means Business, Part 6, featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci and moderated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN. December 9, 3-4pm ET. Presented jointly by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the New England Journal of Medicine. Hosted by The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    1. Before the second peak, we made some bold claims—based upon dynamic causal modelling—that fatalities would peak “around 8 November.” [1-3] The timing was important because a peak at this time could not be explained by a second lockdown. In other words, the precautionary measures (i.e., tier systems) implemented prior to the second lockdown would have been more effective than generally assumed. [4] So what actually happened? At the time of writing, deaths peaked at 481 per day on 9 November (based on the seven day average of positive tests by date of death). [5] One might argue that dynamic causal modelling was accurate to within days; however, this would be a bit disingenuous. The seven day average looks as if it will peak about 10 days later—at around 450 deaths per day. This peak rate is higher than we had predicted (by a factor of three); although less than the thousands suggested by forecasts of unmitigated outcomes from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M). [6,7]
    1. The NCRC rapidly curates and assesses emerging research on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. This newsletter contains new reviews from the last two weeks. In This Week's Roundup: Long COVID, re-infection despite having a neutralizing antibody immune response, masks in the Midwest, and more.
    1. Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that health care personnel be tested if they are symptomatic or have a known exposure to the coronavirus. But treating COVID-19 patients while wearing personal protective equipment doesn't count as exposure that warrants testing. A recent survey by National Nurses United, the nation's largest union of registered nurses, found just 42% of RNs in hospitals said they had ever been tested for the virus.
    1. U of Vermont says announced cuts to the liberal arts are happening. The faculty says otherwise. The bigger story is one of how universities are seizing on COVID-19 to push through long-desired curricular and staffing reforms.
    1. The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.
    1. "At least we're not as bad as the States."Those were the words uttered by so many Canadians during the first wave of coronavirus, perhaps without malice although with a good dose of smugness.But that complacency may have helped fuel a deadly second wave in Canada that is now straining hospital capacity in nearly every region of the country as health officials impose more restrictions and lockdowns."What you're saying is we're better than the worst country in the world," says Amir Attaran, an American-raised Canadian professor of law and public health at the University of Ottawa during an interview with CNN.
    1. The COVID-19 pandemic not only threatens physical health, but is also a multi-faceted stressor that threatens mental health. Given the public health focus on staying home to stem the tide of COVID-19, it is crucial to determine how the close others we live with (i.e., romantic partners or children) affect our mental health, for better or worse. We examined the month-to-month mental health (i.e., well-being and ill-being) of parents living with child(ren) and people living with romantic partners (versus people not living with these close others) from February through September 2020 in two diverse samples of U.S. adults (N=656; N=544). This longitudinal approach distinguishes three unique effects: differences existing before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, differences due to the onset of the pandemic, and differences that persisted across the first six months of the pandemic. In both samples, living with child(ren) or living with a romantic partner were both protective for mental health, before and during the first six months of the pandemic. Some evidence suggests these groups experienced unique increases in ill-being during the onset of the pandemic, but their ill-being also recovered more quickly. These findings highlight the crucial protective function of close relationships for mental health both in general and amidst a pandemic, suggesting that people living without these close others may need additional support.
    1. Essential workers such as medical workers and police officers have been playing crucial roles in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and are under heavy stress both physically and mentally. The goal of the present study was to develop a novel nature-based intervention to promote their well-being. A representative sample of essential workers in China was recruited for a five-day intervention program, and were randomly assigned to two groups. The experimental group watched two-minute video clips of natural scenes every day, while the control group watched urban scenes. Results indicated that after five days, the natural stimuli intervention yielded overall improvements in various indices of subjective well-being. Furthermore, analyses of nested longitudinal data confirmed that everyday nature stimuli exposure provided both immediate and cumulative restorative benefits. The proposed natural-based intervention is brief and easy-to-use, offering a cost-efficient psychological booster to promote subjective well-being of essential workers during this crisis time.
    1. In light of evidence from ostracism research, social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19 poses a unique psychological challenge. In a German (N=546) and a US (N=199) sample, we examined how different degrees of social distancing impact outcomes related to social exclusion, measuring self-related needs: self-esteem, belonging, control, and meaning. Across both samples social distancing was associated with decreased need fulfillment. German participants reported higher need fulfillment compared to American participants. In comparison to previous studies, self-related needs associated with social distancing were less impacted than under experimental manipulations of social exclusion, however more so than under the baseline condition of inclusion. Working while social distancing was associated with greater need fulfillment, as was identifying as male. Women reported lower need fulfillment in both samples and this difference was mediated by need to belong. Results are discussed in terms of understanding self-related needs in different contexts of exclusion.
    1. Contact-tracing mobile phone apps have the potential to play a role in controlling the spread of COVID-19, but their success hinges on widespread uptake by the public. We report a study that behaviourally pre-tested COVID Tracker, Ireland's contact-tracing app, prior to its launch with a large sample of smartphone users. The study was funded by the Department of Health and run in cooperation with the app's developers, NearForm. Participants were randomised to receive different versions of a trial app. They responded to an online survey while downloading and using the app on their phones in real time. The experimental manipulations focused on three broad areas: (i) the level of privacy assurance provided in the app, (ii) the goal-framing of the purpose of the app and (iii) the structuring of the exposure notification received by users if they are recorded as a close contact. Almost one in five participants mentioned privacy concerns in relation to their likelihood of downloading the app. Including additional assurances regarding the privacy of users' data in the app successfully lowered participants' privacy concerns and boosted engagement. This finding fed into the final version of the app released in July 2020. We also found minor beneficial effects of restructuring the exposure notification, but did not find any significant differences between two different types of goal-framing, other than a subtle effect on how the exposure notification is interpreted. Overall, our results demonstrate the value of pre-testing contact-tracing apps from a behavioural perspective to boost uptake, trust and participation.
    1. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed family functioning and increased parenting demands, leading to increased risk for poor psychosocial outcomes. Emerging evidence underscores the significant impact the pandemic has had on maternal mental health concerns. In contrast, paternal mental health has yet to be described. The current study describes the prevalence of depression and anxiety in fathers of young children as well as associated risk and protective factors. Methods: As part of the Parenting during the Pandemic study, fathers (N = 70) of children age 0-8 years old self-reported on mental health symptoms and additional concerns, while mothers (N = 236) provided a partner-report of father perinatal depression. Results:. Clinically significant depression (37.1%) and anxiety (22.9%) were prevalent in fathers. Partner reported perinatal depression was prevalent in 61.9% of fathers. Higher financial strain and previous mental health history were associated with increased risk of both depression and anxiety. Maternal report of paternal depression was associated with higher financial strain, greater number of children in the home, and lower maternal-reported marital quality. Limitations: The current study used cross-sectional data from an online cohort. The sample size limits the generalizability of the findings; future research should continue evaluating this important topic with larger samples. Conclusions: Compared to pre-pandemic population comparisons, paternal depression and anxiety are elevated in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Intervention recommendations and implications are discussed.
    1. Acts of everyday kindness are voluntary, low-cost actions intended to express a friendly attitude toward a specific person or persons. In two pre-registered studies we examined whether practicing everyday kindness can help people maintain well-being and prosocial orientation in times of pandemic. In correlational Study 1 (N = 497), performing everyday kindness was positively linked to well-being, social connectedness, and a willingness to engage in more costly prosocial behavior. In an experimental Study 2 (N = 482), practicing acts of everyday kindness increased well-being and actual prosocial behavior, although it did not affect feelings of social connectedness. The results point to the role of everyday kindness in counteracting the negative psychological and social consequences of COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, even simple online interventions can be used to elicit everyday kindness.
    1. Digital contact-tracing applications (DCTAs) can control the spread of epidemics, like the COVID-19 pandemic. But people in Western societies fail to accept DCTAs. Understanding the low acceptance is key to policymakers who support DCTAs to avoid harsh nationwide lock-downs. In a preregistered study in a representative Swiss sample (N=757), we compare the role of individual risk perception, risk preferences, social preferences, and social values in the acceptance of and compliance with DCTA. The results show a low acceptance of DCTAs but high compliance with the measures recommended by DCTAs. Risk preferences and perceptions, but not social preferences, influenced accepting DCTAs; a high health risk perception and a low data-security risk perception increased acceptance. Additionally, supporting political measures, technical abilities, and understanding the DCTA functionality had large effects on accepting DCTAs. Therefore, we recommend highlighting personal health risks and clearly explaining DCTAs, focusing on data security, to enhance DCTA acceptance.
    1. Objective: The article aims to show the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health of American youth. It also aims to identify factors that have an impact on the mental health maintenance of young Americans. The conducted analyses are an attempt at explaining the influence of high psycho-social stress on the mental health of young people. Methods: Secondary data from representative research conducted among the inhabitants of the United States of America on the sample of 10,139 respondents has been used in the analysis. Data is derived from the Pew Research Center, American Trends Panel. Results: The data analysis indicates that among all the age categories the highest levels of mental discomfort have been observed among the youngest Americans aged 18-29. The majority of respondents experienced anxiety and depression. The results of analyses of the youngest respondents (sample n=1083) have shown that there are a few factors which have impact on mental health of the young generation. Males, people living in relationships, practising religion more often, having a better financial situation, conservative beliefs and being devoid of citizenship had a better mental condition. Owned social, economic and cultural resources protect young Americans against the Covid-19 pandemic. Conclusions: The conducted research confirms the hypothesis that younger generations cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and related difficulties the worst. Due to the conducted analyses, the variables responsible for the deterioration of mental health in younger generations may be indicated.
    1. First interim analysis included 95 participants with confirmed cases of COVID-19 Phase 3 study met statistical criteria with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5% (p <0.0001) Moderna intends to submit for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with U.S. FDA in the coming weeks and expects the EUA to be based on the final analysis of 151 cases and a median follow-up of more than 2 months
    1. Consensus on standards for evaluating models and theories is an integral part of every science. Nonetheless, in psychology, relatively little focus has been placed on defining reliable communal metrics to assess model performance. Evaluation practices are often idiosyncratic, and are affected by a number of shortcomings (e.g., failure to assess models' ability to generalize to unseen data) that make it difficult to discriminate between good and bad models. Drawing inspiration from fields like machine learning and statistical genetics, we argue in favor of introducing common benchmarks as a means of overcoming the lack of reliable model evaluation criteria currently observed in psychology. We discuss a number of principles benchmarks should satisfy to achieve maximal utility; identify concrete steps the community could take to promote the development of such benchmarks; and address a number of potential pitfalls and concerns that may arise in the course of implementation. We argue that reaching consensus on common evaluation benchmarks will foster cumulative progress in psychology, and encourage researchers to place heavier emphasis on the practical utility of scientific models.
    1. Albarracín et al. (2008, Study 7) tested whether priming action or inaction goals (vs. no goal) and then satisfying those goals (vs. not satisfying them) would be associated with subsequent cognitive responding. They hypothesized and found that priming action or inaction goals that were not satisfied resulted in greater or lesser responding, respectively, compared with not priming goals (N= 98). Sonnleitner and Voracek (2015) attempted to directly replicate Albarracín et al.’s (2008) study with German participants (N= 105). They did not find evidence for the 3x2 interaction or the expected main effect of task type. The current study attempted to directly replicate Albarracín et al. (2008), Study 7, with a larger sample of participants (N=1,690) from seven colleges and universities in the United States. We also extended the study design by using a scrambled-sentence task to prime goals instead of the original task of completing word fragments, allowing us to test whether study protocol moderated any effects of interest. We did not detect moderation by protocol in the full 3x2x2 design (pseudo-r2=0.05%). Results for both protocols were largely consistent with Sonnleitner and Voracek’s findings (pseudo-r2s = 0.14% and 0.50%). We consider these results in light of recent findings concerning priming methods and discuss the robustness of action-/inaction-goal priming to the implementation of different protocols in this particular context.
    1. The novel Coronavirus that spread around the world in early 2020 triggered a global pandemic and economic downturn that affected nearly everyone. Yet the crisis had a disproportionate impact on the poor and revealed how easily working-class individuals’ financial security can be destabilised by factors beyond personal control. In a pre-registered longitudinal study of Americans (N = 233) spanning April 2019 to May 2020, we tested whether the pandemic altered beliefs about the extent to which poverty is caused by external forces and internal dispositions and support for economic inequality. Over this timespan, participants revealed a shift in their attributions for poverty, reporting that poverty is more strongly impacted by external-situational causes and less by internal-dispositional causes. However, we did not detect an overall mean-level change in opposition to inequality or support for government intervention. Instead, only for those who most strongly recognized the negative impact of COVID-19 did changes in poverty attributions translate to decreased support for inequality, and increased support for government intervention to help the poor.
    1. The article presents the results of research on neuroticism among students in Poland and Ukraine, which has been contributed to by the coronavirus pandemic. The research was conducted on-line, on a sample of 1,978 respondents in Poland, and 411 in Ukraine. The results of this research indicate that average and high levels of neuroticism were observed among 61% of respondents in Poland, and 47% in Ukraine. The regression analysis has shown that the main factors which have an impact on the level of neuroticism are; educational burnout, gender, financial situation, interest in the pandemic and satisfaction with life. Neuroticism indicated by the respondents increases with educational burnout, loss of economic resources and an increase in the interest in the pandemic. Moreover, female respondents score higher on the scale of neuroticism. Comparative analyses between Polish and Ukrainian students indicate that Ukrainian youth cope with quarantine and distance education better, and have better mental health. The collected observations show that in the conditions of a pandemic, neuroticism among young generations may increase.
    1. With the suspension of daycares and kindergartens, COVID-19 caused temporary yet significant changes in young children’s learning environments around the world. In some countries such as Turkey, however, most young children had been taken care of at home even before the pandemic. Thus, Turkey provides a unique context in which one of the most notable pandemic-related changes for many was the increased presence of the father at home. The study uses language development as an example to (1) provide descriptive information about how COVID-19 affected the learning environment of young children in Turkey, and (2) understand the contributions of mothers and fathers in language learning. We administered a two-part online survey to 133 families with a child at ages 8-36 months. The survey asked the details of the child’s vocabulary level at two times, time spent with the child, and activities they were engaged in. As a proxy of the parental language input, we also asked the parents to write a story about a picture as if they are telling a bedtime story to their child. Our data suggest that the number of words used in the mother’s story, but not the father's story, predicted the vocabulary level of children.
  4. psyarxiv.com psyarxiv.com