1,786 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2022
    1. 2022-02-24

    2. Anthony Costello. (2022, February 24). The risks of cognitive symptoms lasting at least 12 MONTHS were much higher in the infected group. 4.8x higher for fatigue, 3.2x for brain fog, 5.3x for poor memory, and an incredible 51x for altered taste and smell. We need data on children, but it could easily be similar. (17) https://t.co/JC1qYyW2Xc [Tweet]. @globalhlthtwit. https://twitter.com/globalhlthtwit/status/1496957266016313348

    3. The risks of cognitive symptoms lasting at least 12 MONTHS were much higher in the infected group. 4.8x higher for fatigue, 3.2x for brain fog, 5.3x for poor memory, and an incredible 51x for altered taste and smell. We need data on children, but it could easily be similar. (17)
    1. 2022-01-17

    2. Shelton, J. F., Shastri, A. J., Fletez-Brant, K., Stella Aslibekyan, & Auton, A. (2022). The UGT2A1/UGT2A2 locus is associated with COVID-19-related loss of smell or taste. Nature Genetics, 54(2), 121–124. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00986-w

    3. The UGT2A1/UGT2A2 locus is associated with COVID-19-related loss of smell or taste
    4. 10.1038/s41588-021-00986-w
    5. Using online surveys, we collected data regarding COVID-19-related loss of smell or taste from 69,841 individuals. We performed a multi-ancestry genome-wide association study and identified a genome-wide significant locus in the vicinity of the UGT2A1 and UGT2A2 genes. Both genes are expressed in the olfactory epithelium and play a role in metabolizing odorants. These findings provide a genetic link to the biological mechanisms underlying COVID-19-related loss of smell or taste.
    1. 2022-02-15

    2. Regev-Yochay, G., Gonen, T., Gilboa, M., Mandelboim, M., Indenbaum, V., Amit, S., Meltzer, L., Asraf, K., Cohen, C., Fluss, R., Biber, A., Nemet, I., Kliker, L., Joseph, G., Doolman, R., Mendelson, E., Freedman, L. S., Harats, D., Kreiss, Y., & Lustig, Y. (2022). 4th Dose COVID mRNA Vaccines’ Immunogenicity & Efficacy Against Omicron VOC (p. 2022.02.15.22270948). medRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.02.15.22270948

    3. BACKGROUND Following the emergence of the Omicron variant of concern, we investigated immunogenicity, efficacy and safety of BNT162b2 or mRNA1273 fourth dose in an open-label, clinical intervention trial.METHODS Primary end-points were safety and immunogenicity and secondary end-points were vaccine efficacy in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 symptomatic disease. The two intervention arms were compared to a matched control group. Eligible participants were healthcare-workers (HCW) vaccinated with three BNT162b2 doses, and whose IgG antibody levels were ≤700 BAU (40-percentile). IgG and neutralizing titers, direct neutralization of live VOCs, and T-cell activation were assessed. All participants were actively screened for SARS-CoV-2 infections on a weekly basis.RESULTS Of 1050 eligible HCW, 154 and 120 were enrolled to receive BNT162b2 and mRNA1273, respectively, and compared to 426 age-matched controls. Recipients of both vaccine types had a ∼9-10-fold increase in IgG and neutralizing titers within 2 weeks of vaccination and an 8-fold increase in live Omicron VOC neutralization, restoring titers to those measured after the third vaccine dose. Breakthrough infections were common, mostly very mild, yet, with high viral loads. Vaccine efficacy against infection was 30% (95%CI:-9% to 55%) and 11% (95%CI:-43% to +43%) for BNT162b2 and mRNA1273, respectively. Local and systemic adverse reactions were reported in 80% and 40%, respectively.CONCLUSIONS The fourth COVID-19 mRNA dose restores antibody titers to peak post-third dose titers. Low efficacy in preventing mild or asymptomatic Omicron infections and the infectious potential of breakthrough cases raise the urgency of next generation vaccine development.
    4. 10.1101/2022.02.15.22270948
    5. 4th Dose COVID mRNA Vaccines’ Immunogenicity & Efficacy Against Omicron VOC
    1. 2021-10-05

    2. Schafer, B. (2021, October 5). RT Deutsch Finds a Home with Anti-Vaccination Skeptics in Germany. Alliance For Securing Democracy. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/rt-deutsch-youtube-antivaccination-germany/

    3. YouTube’s decision last week to remove RT’s German-language channels for violating the platform’s coronavirus misinformation policy sparked an outcry from Moscow, with the foreign ministry claiming that the move was “fully in line with the logic of the information warfare unleashed against Russia.” The ban, which came about after RT Deutsch attempted to circumvent a short-term suspension by posting to an affiliated channel (a clear violation of YouTube’s terms of service), was nonetheless framed by the Kremlin and its media outlets as “a declaration of media war” and “a media version of Barbarossa”—a reference to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Whether YouTube’s enforcement of its policies is consistently and equitably applied across channels is perhaps debatable; what is not debatable is that over the past year RT Deutsch has cultivated a sizeable audience—not just on YouTube but across multiple social media platforms—by promoting content critical of vaccines and other public health measures. This is particularly evident on Facebook, where the common denominator in groups and pages that most actively share RT Deutsch content is not an interest in politics, geopolitics, or Russia, but an opposition to vaccines.  
    4. RT Deutsch Finds a Home with Anti-Vaccination Skeptics in Germany 2021-10-05T15:51:05-04:00
    1. 2019-10-25

    2. Li, Z., Tomlinson, A. C., Wong, A. H., Zhou, D., Desforges, M., Talbot, P. J., Benlekbir, S., Rubinstein, J. L., & Rini, J. M. (2019). The human coronavirus HCoV-229E S-protein structure and receptor binding. ELife, 8, e51230. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.51230

    3. 10.7554/eLife.51230
    4. The coronavirus S-protein mediates receptor binding and fusion of the viral and host cell membranes. In HCoV-229E, its receptor binding domain (RBD) shows extensive sequence variation but how S-protein function is maintained is not understood. Reported are the X-ray crystal structures of Class III-V RBDs in complex with human aminopeptidase N (hAPN), as well as the electron cryomicroscopy structure of the 229E S-protein. The structures show that common core interactions define the specificity for hAPN and that the peripheral RBD sequence variation is accommodated by loop plasticity. The results provide insight into immune evasion and the cross-species transmission of 229E and related coronaviruses. We also find that the 229E S-protein can expose a portion of its helical core to solvent. This is undoubtedly facilitated by hydrophilic subunit interfaces that we show are conserved among coronaviruses. These interfaces likely play a role in the S-protein conformational changes associated with membrane fusion.
    5. The human coronavirus HCoV-229E S-protein structure and receptor binding
    1. 2022-01-18

    2. Smith, L., Potts, H., Amlôt, R., Fear, N. T., Michie, S., & Rubin, J. (2022). How has the emergence of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern influenced worry, perceived risk, and behaviour in the UK? A series of cross-sectional surveys. OSF Preprints. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/rpcu2

    3. 10.31219/osf.io/rpcu2
    4. Objectives: To investigate: changes in beliefs and behaviours following news of the Omicron variant and changes to guidance; understanding of Omicron-related guidance; and factors associated with engaging with protective behaviours. Design: Series of cross-sectional surveys (1 November to 16 December 2021, 5 waves of data collection). Setting: Online. Participants: People living in England, aged 16 years or over (n=1622 to 1902 per wave). Primary and secondary outcome measures: Levels of worry and perceived risk, and engagement with key behaviours (out-of-home activities, risky social mixing, wearing a face covering, and testing uptake). Results: Beliefs about worry and perceived risk of COVID-19 fluctuated over time, with worry, perceived risk to self and perceived risk to people increasing slightly around the time of the announcement about Omicron. Understanding of the new rules in England was low, with people over-estimating the stringency of the new rules. Rates of wearing a face covering increased over time, as did testing uptake. Meeting up with people from another household decreased around the time of the announcement of Omicron (29 November to 1 December), but then returned to previous levels. Associations with engagement with protective behaviours was investigated using regression analyses. There was no evidence for significant associations between out-of-home activity and worry or perceived risk (COVID-19 generally or Omicron-specific). Engaging in highest risk social mixing and always wearing a face covering in hospitality venues were associated with worry and perceived risk about COVID-19. Always wearing a face covering in shops was associated with having heard more about Omicron. Conclusions: Almost two years into the COVID-19 outbreak, the emergence of a novel variant of concern only slightly influenced worry and perceived risk. The main protective behaviour (wearing a face covering) promoted by new guidance showed significant re-uptake, but other protective behaviours showed little or no change.
    5. How has the emergence of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern influenced worry, perceived risk, and behaviour in the UK? A series of cross-sectional surveys
    1. 2021-12-08

    2. Sandra Ciesek. (2021, December 8). Unsere ersten Daten zur Neutralisation von Omicron versus Delta sind fertig: 2x Biontech, 2x Moderna, 1xAZ/1x Biontech nach 6 Monaten 0% Neutralisation bei Omicron, auch 3x Biontech 3 Monate nach Booster nur 25% NT versus 95% bei Delta. Bis zu 37fache Reduktion Delta vs. Omicron https://t.co/w0gHww26sg [Tweet]. @CiesekSandra. https://twitter.com/CiesekSandra/status/1468465347519041539

    3. unsere ersten Daten zur Neutralisation von Omicron versus Delta sind fertig: 2x Biontech, 2x Moderna, 1xAZ/1x Biontech nach 6 Monaten 0% Neutralisation bei Omicron, auch 3x Biontech 3 Monate nach Booster nur 25% NT versus 95% bei Delta. Bis zu 37fache Reduktion Delta vs. Omicron
    1. 2022-02-11

    2. Catherine Finnecy. (2022, February 11). SPI-M-O currently estimates that a combination of behavioural change...and mitigations (e.g. Testing, self-isolation) are currently reducing transmission by 20–45% [Tweet]. @cfinnecy. https://twitter.com/cfinnecy/status/1492213392681181184

    3. "SPI-M-O currently estimates that a combination of behavioural change...and mitigations (e.g. testing, self-isolation) are currently reducing transmission by 20–45%"
    1. 2022-02-09

    2. Iketani, S., Liu, L., Guo, Y., Liu, L., Huang, Y., Wang, M., Luo, Y., Yu, J., Yin, M. T., Sobieszczyk, M. E., Huang, Y., Wang, H. H., Sheng, Z., & Ho, D. D. (2022). Antibody Evasion Properties of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Sublineages (p. 2022.02.07.479306). bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.02.07.479306

    3. The identification of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529.1 or BA.1) of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) in Botswana in November 20211 immediately raised alarms due to the sheer number of mutations in the spike glycoprotein that could lead to striking antibody evasion. We2 and others3-6 recently reported results in this Journal confirming such a concern. Continuing surveillance of Omicron evolution has since revealed the rise in prevalence of two sublineages, BA.1 with an R346K mutation (BA.1+R346K) and B.1.1.529.2 (BA.2), with the latter containing 8 unique spike mutations while lacking 13 spike mutations found in BA.1. We therefore extended our studies to include antigenic characterization of these new sublineages. Polyclonal sera from patients infected by wild-type SARS-CoV-2 or recipients of current mRNA vaccines showed a substantial loss in neutralizing activity against both BA.1+R346K and BA.2, with drops comparable to that already reported for BA.12,3,5,6. These findings indicate that these three sublineages of Omicron are antigenically equidistant from the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and thus similarly threaten the efficacies of current vaccines. BA.2 also exhibited marked resistance to 17 of 19 neutralizing monoclonal antibodies tested, including S309 (sotrovimab)7, which had retained appreciable activity against BA.1 and BA.1+R346K2-4,6 . This new finding shows that no presently approved or authorized monoclonal antibody therapy could adequately cover all sublineages of the Omicron variant.
    4. 10.1101/2022.02.07.479306
    5. Antibody Evasion Properties of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Sublineages
    1. 2022-01-25

    2. Vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19: Don’thesitate any longer – Académie nationale de médecine | Une institution dans son temps. (2022, January 25). https://www.academie-medecine.fr/vaccination-of-children-aged-5-to-11-against-covid-19-donthesitate-any-longer/?lang=en

    3. The spread of the Omicron variant and its high level of circulation throughout the world raise fears of the emergence of other variants or sub-variants in the absence of a sufficiently high herd immunity. Genetically very different from previous variants, Omicron has modified this pandemic wave of Covid-19 by two essential characteristics: a transmissibility 3 times higher than that of the Delta variant and a lower virulence. Another striking fact, observed over the past two months, is the high incidence of infection among children favoring transmission in schools and families. As in the United States, this phenomenon is accompanied by a significant increase in daily pediatric hospitalizations: during the second week of 2022, 979 children from 0 to 9 years old were hospitalized (source GEODES), nearly 80% of them without any comorbidity [1], and 9 deaths have occurred since January 1 (source GEODES).
    4. Vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19: don’thesitate any longer
    1. 2022-02-01

    2. Meng, B., Abdullahi, A., Ferreira, I. A. T. M., Goonawardane, N., Saito, A., Kimura, I., Yamasoba, D., Gerber, P. P., Fatihi, S., Rathore, S., Zepeda, S. K., Papa, G., Kemp, S. A., Ikeda, T., Toyoda, M., Tan, T. S., Kuramochi, J., Mitsunaga, S., Ueno, T., … Gupta, R. K. (2022). Altered TMPRSS2 usage by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron impacts tropism and fusogenicity. Nature, 1–1. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04474-x

    3. 10.1038/s41586-022-04474-x
    4. The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant emerged in 20211 and bears multiple spike mutations2. Here we show that Omicron spike has higher affinity for ACE2 compared to Delta as well as a marked change of antigenicity conferring significant evasion of therapeutic monoclonal and vaccine-elicited polyclonal neutralising antibodies after two doses. mRNA vaccination as a third vaccine dose rescues and broadens neutralisation. Importantly, antiviral drugs remdesivir and molnupiravir retain efficacy against Omicron BA.1. Replication was similar for Omicron and Delta virus isolates in human nasal epithelial cultures. However, in lower airway organoids, lung cells and gut cells, Omicron demonstrated lower replication. Omicron spike protein was less efficiently cleaved compared to Delta. Replication differences mapped to entry efficiency using spike pseudotyped virus (PV) assays. The defect for Omicron PV to enter specific cell types effectively correlated with higher cellular RNA expression of TMPRSS2, and knock down of TMPRSS2 impacted Delta entry to a greater extent than Omicron. Furthermore, drug inhibitors targeting specific entry pathways3 demonstrated that the Omicron spike inefficiently utilises the cellular protease TMPRSS2 that promotes cell entry via plasma membrane fusion, with greater dependency on cell entry via the endocytic pathway. Consistent with suboptimal S1/S2 cleavage and inability to utilise TMPRSS2, syncytium formation by the Omicron spike was markedly impaired compared to the Delta spike. Omicron’s less efficient spike cleavage at S1/S2 is associated with shift in cellular tropism away from TMPRSS2 expressing cells, with implications for altered pathogenesis. Download PDF
    5. Altered TMPRSS2 usage by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron impacts tropism and fusogenicity
  2. Jan 2022
    1. 2021-11-19

    2. French, G. (2021). Impact of Hospital Strain on Excess Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic—United States, July 2020–July 2021. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 70. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7046a5

    3. 10.15585/mmwr.mm7046a5external icon.
    4. What is already known about this topic? COVID-19 surges have stressed hospital systems and negatively affected health care and public health infrastructures and national critical functions. What is added by this report? The conditions of hospital strain during July 2020–July 2021, which included the presence of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, predicted that intensive care unit bed use at 75% capacity is associated with an estimated additional 12,000 excess deaths 2 weeks later. As hospitals exceed 100% ICU bed capacity, 80,000 excess deaths would be expected 2 weeks later. What are the implications for public health practice? State, local, tribal, and territorial leaders could evaluate ways to reduce strain on public health and health care infrastructures, including implementing interventions to reduce overall disease prevalence such as vaccination and other prevention strategies, and ways to expand or enhance capacity during times of high disease prevalence.
    5. Impact of Hospital Strain on Excess Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, July 2020–July 2021
    1. 2022-01-24

    2. Chadeau-Hyam, M., Wang, H., Eales, O., Haw, D., Bodinier, B., Whitaker, M., Walters, C. E., Ainslie, K. E. C., Atchison, C., Fronterre, C., Diggle, P. J., Page, A. J., Trotter, A. J., Ashby, D., Barclay, W., Taylor, G., Cooke, G., Ward, H., Darzi, A., … Elliott, P. (2022). SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine effectiveness in England (REACT-1): A series of cross-sectional random community surveys. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00542-7

    3. BackgroundEngland has experienced a third wave of the COVID-19 epidemic since the end of May, 2021, coinciding with the rapid spread of the delta (B.1.617.2) variant, despite high levels of vaccination among adults. Vaccination rates (single dose) in England are lower among children aged 16–17 years and 12–15 years, whose vaccination in England commenced in August and September, 2021, respectively. We aimed to analyse the underlying dynamics driving patterns in SARS-CoV-2 prevalence during September, 2021, in England.MethodsThe REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study, which commenced data collection in May, 2020, involves a series of random cross-sectional surveys in the general population of England aged 5 years and older. Using RT-PCR swab positivity data from 100 527 participants with valid throat and nose swabs in round 14 of REACT-1 (Sept 9–27, 2021), we estimated community-based prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and vaccine effectiveness against infection by combining round 14 data with data from round 13 (June 24 to July 12, 2021; n=172 862).FindingsDuring September, 2021, we estimated a mean RT-PCR positivity rate of 0·83% (95% CrI 0·76–0·89), with a reproduction number (R) overall of 1·03 (95% CrI 0·94–1·14). Among the 475 (62·2%) of 764 sequenced positive swabs, all were of the delta variant; 22 (4·63%; 95% CI 3·07–6·91) included the Tyr145His mutation in the spike protein associated with the AY.4 sublineage, and there was one Glu484Lys mutation. Age, region, key worker status, and household size jointly contributed to the risk of swab positivity. The highest weighted prevalence was observed among children aged 5–12 years, at 2·32% (95% CrI 1·96–2·73) and those aged 13–17 years, at 2·55% (2·11–3·08). The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic grew in those aged 5–11 years, with an R of 1·42 (95% CrI 1·18–1·68), but declined in those aged 18–54 years, with an R of 0·81 (0·68–0·97). At ages 18–64 years, the adjusted vaccine effectiveness against infection was 62·8% (95% CI 49·3–72·7) after two doses compared to unvaccinated people, for all vaccines combined, 44·8% (22·5–60·7) for the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (Oxford–AstraZeneca) vaccine, and 71·3% (56·6–81·0) for the BNT162b2 (Pfizer–BioNTech) vaccine. In individuals aged 18 years and older, the weighted prevalence of swab positivity was 0·35% (95% CrI 0·31–0·40) if the second dose was administered up to 3 months before their swab but 0·55% (0·50–0·61) for those who received their second dose 3–6 months before their swab, compared to 1·76% (1·60–1·95) among unvaccinated individuals.InterpretationIn September, 2021, at the start of the autumn school term in England, infections were increasing exponentially in children aged 5–17 years, at a time when vaccination rates were low in this age group. In adults, compared to those who received their second dose less than 3 months ago, the higher prevalence of swab positivity at 3–6 months following two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine suggests an increased risk of breakthrough infections during this period. The vaccination programme needs to reach children as well as unvaccinated and partially vaccinated adults to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and associated disruptions to work and education.
    4. 10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00542-7
    5. SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine effectiveness in England (REACT-1): a series of cross-sectional random community surveys
    1. 2022-01-25

    2. Bakker, B. N., & Lelkes, Y. (2022). The Structure, Prevalence, and Nature of Mass Belief Systems. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/v3dg9

    3. Ideology is a central concept in political psychology. Here, we synthesize the scholarly debate's major themes. We first examine the ways in which ideology has been operationalized and discuss its prevalence (or lack thereof) in the mass public. This is followed by a discussion of the top-down and bottom-up forces that shape citizens' ideology. Top down processes include: political elites and socialization. Bottom-up processes range from political values, basic human values and personality to biology and genetics. Finally, we outline steps that we would welcome in the next generation of research on political ideology. These include fundamental questions about the causal relationship between different bottom-up factors and a call for more attention to measurement of key constructs and of open science practices in the study of political ideology. We hope this chapter inspires others and sets the stage for the next generation of research on political ideology.
    4. 10.31234/osf.io/v3dg9
    5. The Structure, Prevalence, and Nature of Mass Belief Systems
    1. 2022-01-13

    2. Warner, E. L., Barbati, J. L., Duncan, K. L., Yan, K., & Rains, S. A. (2022). Vaccine misinformation types and properties in Russian troll tweets. Vaccine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.12.040

    3. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.12.040
    4. ObjectiveTo identify the content of and engagement with vaccine misinformation from Russian trolls on Twitter.MethodsTroll tweets (N = 1959) obtained from Twitter in 2020 were coded for vaccine misinformation (α = 0.77–0.97). Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariable negative binomial regressions were applied to estimate robust incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95 %CI) of vaccine misinformation associations with tweet characteristics and engagement (i.e., replies, likes, retweets).ResultsMisinformation about personal dangers (43.0%), civil liberty violations (20.2%), and vaccine conspiracies (18.6%) were common. More misinformation tweets used anti-vaccination language (97.3% vs. 13.2%) and referenced symptoms (37.4% vs. 0.5%) than non-misinformation tweets. Fewer misinformation tweets referenced credible sources (14.0% vs. 19.5%), were formatted as headlines (39.2% vs. 77.0%), and mentioned specific vaccines (11.3% vs. 36.1%, all p < 0.01) than non-misinformation tweets. Personal dangers misinformation had 83% lower rate of retweets (95 %CI 0.04–0.66). Civil liberties misinformation had significantly higher rate of replies (IRR: 7.65, 95 %CI 1.06–55.46), but lower overall engagement (IRR: 0.38, 95 %CI 0.16–0.88) than non-misinformation tweets.ConclusionsStrategies used to promote vaccine misinformation provide insight into the nature of vaccine misinformation online and public responses. Our findings suggest a need to explore influences on whether users reject or entertain online vaccine misinformation.
    5. Vaccine misinformation types and properties in Russian troll tweetsAuthor links open overlay panel
    1. 2022-01-17

    2. Edouard Mathieu. (2022, January 17). Update: Switzerland now reports deaths by booster status. Compared to unvaccinated people, the COVID mortality rate is: • 9x lower after full vaccination • 48x lower after a booster [From our post with @maxcroser on death rates by vaccination status: Http://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths-by-vaccination] https://t.co/ozWueyHO2k [Tweet]. @redouad. https://twitter.com/redouad/status/1482991873190936576

    3. Update: Switzerland now reports deaths by booster status. Compared to unvaccinated people, the COVID mortality rate is: • 9x lower after full vaccination • 48x lower after a booster [From our post with @maxcroser on death rates by vaccination status: http://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths-by-vaccination…]
    1. 2022-01-12

    2. Kadambari, S., Goldacre, R., Morris, E., Goldacre, M. J., & Pollard, A. J. (2022). Indirect effects of the covid-19 pandemic on childhood infection in England: Population based observational study. BMJ, 376, e067519. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2021-067519

    3. Objective To assess the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on hospital admission rates and mortality outcomes for childhood respiratory infections, severe invasive infections, and vaccine preventable disease in England.Design Population based observational study of 19 common childhood respiratory, severe invasive, and vaccine preventable infections, comparing hospital admission rates and mortality outcomes before and after the onset of the pandemic in England.Setting Hospital admission data from every NHS hospital in England from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021 with record linkage to national mortality data.Population Children aged 0-14 years admitted to an NHS hospital with a selected childhood infection from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021.Main outcome measures For each infection, numbers of hospital admissions every month from 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2021, percentage changes in the number of hospital admissions before and after 1 March 2020, and adjusted odds ratios to compare 60 day case fatality outcomes before and after 1 March 2020.Results After 1 March 2020, substantial and sustained reductions in hospital admissions were found for all but one of the 19 infective conditions studied. Among the respiratory infections, the greatest percentage reductions were for influenza (mean annual number admitted between 1 March 2017 and 29 February 2020 was 5379 and number of children admitted from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 was 304, 94% reduction, 95% confidence interval 89% to 97%), and bronchiolitis (from 51 655 to 9423, 82% reduction, 95% confidence interval 79% to 84%). Among the severe invasive infections, the greatest reduction was for meningitis (50% reduction, 47% to 52%). For the vaccine preventable infections, reductions ranged from 53% (32% to 68%) for mumps to 90% (80% to 95%) for measles. Reductions were seen across all demographic subgroups and in children with underlying comorbidities. Corresponding decreases were also found for the absolute numbers of 60 day case fatalities, although the proportion of children admitted for pneumonia who died within 60 days increased (age-sex adjusted odds ratio 1.71, 95% confidence interval 1.43 to 2.05). More recent data indicate that some respiratory infections increased to higher levels than usual after May 2021.Conclusions During the covid-19 pandemic, a range of behavioural changes (adoption of non-pharmacological interventions) and societal strategies (school closures, lockdowns, and restricted travel) were used to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which also reduced admissions for common and severe childhood infections. Continued monitoring of these infections is required as social restrictions evolve.
    4. 10.1136/bmj-2021-067519
    5. Indirect effects of the covid-19 pandemic on childhood infection in England: population based observational study
    1. 2022-01-15

    2. McKee, M., Altmann, D., Costello, A., Friston, K., Haque, Z., Khunti, K., Michie, S., Oni, T., Pagel, C., Pillay, D., Reicher, S., Salisbury, H., Scally, G., Yates, K., Bauld, L., Bear, L., Drury, J., Parker, M., Phoenix, A., … West, R. (2022). Open science communication: The first year of the UK’s Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. Health Policy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2022.01.006

    3. 10.1016/j.healthpol.2022.01.006
    4. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the complex relationship between science and policy. Policymakers have had to make decisions at speed in conditions of uncertainty, implementing policies that have had profound consequences for people's lives. Yet this process has sometimes been characterised by fragmentation, opacity and a disconnect between evidence and policy. In the United Kingdom, concerns about the secrecy that initially surrounded this process led to the creation of Independent SAGE, an unofficial group of scientists from different disciplines that came together to ask policy-relevant questions, review the evolving evidence, and make evidence-based recommendations. The group took a public health approach with a population perspective, worked in a holistic transdisciplinary way, and were committed to public engagement. In this paper, we review the lessons learned during its first year. These include the importance of learning from local expertise, the value of learning from other countries, the role of civil society as a critical friend to government, finding appropriate relationships between science and policy, and recognising the necessity of viewing issues through an equity lens.
    5. Open science communication: the first year of the UK's Independent Scientific Advisory Group for EmergenciesAuthor links open overlay panel
    1. 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.43955
    2. 2022-01-18

    3. Haas, J. W., Bender, F. L., Ballou, S., Kelley, J. M., Wilhelm, M., Miller, F. G., Rief, W., & Kaptchuk, T. J. (2022). Frequency of Adverse Events in the Placebo Arms of COVID-19 Vaccine Trials: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Network Open, 5(1), e2143955. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.43955

    4. Importance  Adverse events (AEs) after placebo treatment are common in randomized clinical drug trials. Systematic evidence regarding these nocebo responses in vaccine trials is important for COVID-19 vaccination worldwide especially because concern about AEs is reported to be a reason for vaccination hesitancy.Objective  To compare the frequencies of AEs reported in the placebo groups of COVID-19 vaccine trials with those reported in the vaccine groups.Data Sources  For this systematic review and meta-analysis, the Medline (PubMed) and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) databases were searched systematically using medical subheading terms and free-text keywords for trials of COVID-19 vaccines published up to July 14, 2021.Study Selection  Randomized clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines that investigated adults aged 16 years or older were selected if they assessed solicited AEs within 7 days of injection, included an inert placebo arm, and provided AE reports for both the vaccine and placebo groups separately. Full texts were reviewed for eligibility by 2 independent reviewers.Data Extraction and Synthesis  Data extraction and quality assessment were performed independently by 2 reviewers, adhering to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guideline and using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. Meta-analyses were based on random-effects models.Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary outcomes were the proportions of placebo recipients reporting overall, systemic, and local (injection-site) AEs as well as logarithmic odds ratios (ORs) to evaluate group differences. Outcomes were tested for significance using z tests with 95% CIs.Results  Twelve articles with AE reports for 45 380 participants (22 578 placebo recipients and 22 802 vaccine recipients) were analyzed. After the first dose, 35.2% (95% CI, 26.7%-43.7%) of placebo recipients experienced systemic AEs, with headache (19.3%; 95% CI, 13.6%-25.1%) and fatigue (16.7%; 95% CI, 9.8%-23.6%) being most common. After the second dose, 31.8% (95% CI, 28.7%-35.0%) of placebo recipients reported systemic AEs. The ratio between placebo and vaccine arms showed that nocebo responses accounted for 76.0% of systemic AEs after the first COVID-19 vaccine dose and for 51.8% after the second dose. Significantly more vaccine recipients reported AEs, but the group difference for systemic AEs was small after the first dose (OR, −0.47; 95% CI, −0.54 to −0.40; P < .001; standardized mean difference, −0.26; 95% CI, −0.30 to −0.22) and large after the second dose (OR, −1.36; 95% CI, −1.86 to −0.86; P < .001; standardized mean difference, −0.75; 95% CI, −1.03 to −0.47).Conclusions and Relevance  In this systematic review and meta-analysis, significantly more AEs were reported in vaccine groups compared with placebo groups, but the rates of reported AEs in the placebo arms were still substantial. Public vaccination programs should consider these high rates of AEs in placebo arms.
    5. Frequency of Adverse Events in the Placebo Arms of COVID-19 Vaccine Trials: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
    1. 2022-01-21

    2. Howard, J. (2022, January 21). Covid-19 vaccinations do not impair fertility in men or women, new study finds—CNN. CNN Health. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/20/health/covid-vaccine-fertility-study/index.html?utm_source=twCNN&utm_term=link&utm_medium=social&utm_content=2022-01-21T00%3A08%3A17

    3. A new study adds to growing evidence that there is no connection between Covid-19 vaccinations and a reduced chance of conceiving.Rather, couples in the study had slightly lower chances of conception if the male partner had been infected with the coronavirus within 60 days -- which offers even more reason to get vaccinated against Covid-19, since the illness could affect male fertility in the short term, according to the study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
    4. Covid-19 vaccinations do not impair fertility in men or women, study finds