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1.
Int J Infect Dis ; 120: 51-58, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1889487

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several countries have implemented control measures to limit SARS-CoV-2 spread, including digital contact tracing, digital monitoring of quarantined individuals, and testing of travelers. These raise ethical issues around privacy, personal freedoms, and equity. However, little is known regarding public acceptability of these measures. METHODS: In December 2020, we conducted a survey among 3635 respondents in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia to understand public perceptions on the acceptability of COVID-19 control measures. FINDINGS: Hong Kong respondents were much less supportive of digital contact tracing and monitoring devices than those in Malaysia and Singapore. Around three-quarters of Hong Kong respondents perceived digital contact tracing as an unreasonable restriction of individual freedom; <20% trusted that there were adequate local provisions preventing these data being used for other purposes. This was the opposite in Singapore, where nearly 3/4 of respondents agreed that there were adequate data protection rules locally. In contrast, only a minority of Hong Kong respondents viewed mandatory testing and vaccination for travelers as unreasonable infringements of privacy or freedom. Less than 2/3 of respondents in all territories were willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with a quarter of respondents undecided. However, support for differential travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals was high in all settings. INTERPRETATION: Our findings highlight the importance of sociopolitical context in public perception of public health measures and emphasize the need to continually monitor public attitudes toward such measures to inform implementation and communication strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology
2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(12)2021 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572685

ABSTRACT

Higher weight status, defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2, is frequently described as a risk factor for severity and susceptibility to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease (known as COVID-19). Therefore, study groups in COVID-19 vaccine trials should be representative of the weight spectrum across the global population. Appropriate subgroup analysis should be conducted to ensure equitable vaccine outcomes for higher weight people. In this study, inclusion and exclusion criteria of registered clinical trial protocols were reviewed to determine the proportion of trials including higher weight people, and the proportion of trials conducting subgroup analyses of efficacy by BMI. Eligibility criteria of 249 trial protocols (phase I, II, III and IV) were analysed; 51 protocols (20.5%) specified inclusion of BMI > 30, 73 (29.3%) specified exclusion of BMI > 30, and 125 (50.2%) did not specify whether BMI was an inclusion or exclusion criterion, or if BMI was included in any 'health' screenings or physical examinations during recruitment. Of the 58 protocols for trials in phase III and IV, only 2 (3.4%) indicated an intention to report subgroup analysis of vaccine efficacy by weight status. Higher weight people appear to be significantly under-represented in the majority of vaccine trials. This may result in reduced efficacy and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines for higher weight people and exacerbation of health inequities within this population group. Explicit inclusion of higher weight people in COVID-19 vaccine trials is required to reduce health inequities.

3.
BMJ Open ; 11(5): e050114, 2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243716

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Vaccination is a public health strategy that aims to reduce the burden of viral illness, especially important for populations known or likely to be at increased risk for inequitable outcomes due to the disease itself or disparities in care accessed and received. The role of weight status in COVID-19 susceptibility and disease burden remains unclear. Despite this, higher weight is frequently described as a definitive risk factor for both susceptibility and disease severity. Therefore, COVID-19 vaccine trials should recruit a study group representative of the full weight spectrum, and undertake appropriate subgroup analysis by weight status to evaluate response and titrate dose regimes where indicated to ensure equitable outcomes for higher weight people. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We aim to review inclusion and exclusion criteria of clinical trial protocols registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, ISRCTN Register, the WHO official vaccine trial register, and 'The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker'. To determine the number of trials including higher weight (body mass index >30 kg/m2) individuals and the number of trials conducting efficacy subgroup analyses by weight status. Screening, data extraction and quality appraisal of trial protocols will be completed independently by a minimum of two reviewers. Clinical trials will be assessed for risk of bias using the Risk of Bias-2 tool. We will conduct a descriptive analysis of extracted data. The following subsets are proposed: participation of higher weight people in COVID-19 vaccine trials by trial phase, country and vaccine platform. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was not required for this review. The results of this rapid review will be presented at appropriate conferences and published in a suitable peer reviewed journal. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020226573.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Overweight , Vaccines , COVID-19 Vaccines , Clinical Trials as Topic , Eligibility Determination , Humans , Review Literature as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
4.
J Med Ethics ; 2021 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228908

ABSTRACT

The success of digital COVID-19 contact tracing requires a strategy that successfully addresses the digital divide-inequitable access to technology such as smartphones. Lack of access both undermines the degree of social benefit achieved by the use of tracing apps, and exacerbates existing social and health inequities because those who lack access are likely to already be disadvantaged. Recently, Singapore has introduced portable tracing wearables (with the same functionality as a contact tracing app) to address the equity gap and promote public health. We argue that governments have an ethical obligation to ensure fair access to the protective benefits of contract tracing during the pandemic and that wearables are an effective way of addressing some important equity issues. The most contentious issues about contact tracing apps have been the potential infringements of privacy and individual liberty, especially where the use of apps or other technology (such as wearables or QR codes) is required for access to certain spaces. Here we argue that wearables, as opposed to apps alone, will make a digital contact tracing mandate more practical and explain some conditions under which such a mandate would be justified. We focus on Singapore as a case study that has recently deployed contact tracing wearables nationally, but also reference debate about wearables in Australia and New Zealand. Our analysis will be relevant to counties trialling similar portable tracing wearables.

6.
Ethics Inf Technol ; 23(3): 285-294, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-891267

ABSTRACT

There is growing interest in contact tracing apps (CT apps) for pandemic management. It is crucial to consider ethical requirements before, while, and after implementing such apps. In this paper, we illustrate the complexity and multiplicity of the ethical considerations by presenting an ethical framework for a responsible design and implementation of CT apps. Using this framework as a starting point, we briefly highlight the interconnection of social and political contexts, available measures of pandemic management, and a multi-layer assessment of CT apps. We will discuss some trade-offs that arise from this perspective. We then suggest that public trust is of major importance for population uptake of contact tracing apps. Hasty, ill-prepared or badly communicated implementations of CT apps will likely undermine public trust, and as such, risk impeding general effectiveness.

7.
J Med Ethics ; 46(10): 691-692, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-830659

Subject(s)
Ethics, Research , China , Humans
8.
J Med Ethics ; 46(10): 641-645, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611429

ABSTRACT

Throughout March and April 2020, debate raged about how best to allocate limited intensive care unit (ICU) resources in the face of a growing COVID-19 pandemic. The debate was dominated by utility-based arguments for saving the most lives or life-years. These arguments were tempered by equity-based concerns that triage based solely on prognosis would exacerbate existing health inequities, leaving disadvantaged patients worse off. Central to this debate was the assumption that ICU admission is a valuable but scarce resource in the pandemic context.In this paper, we argue that the concern about achieving equity in ICU triage is problematic for two reasons. First, ICU can be futile and prolong or exacerbate suffering rather than ameliorate it. This may be especially true in patients with COVID-19 with emerging data showing that most who receive access to a ventilator will still die. There is no value in admitting patients with poor prognostic indicators to ICU to meet an equity target when intensive critical care is contrary to their best interests. Second, the focus on ICU admission shifts focus away from important aspects of COVID-19 care where there is greater opportunity for mitigating suffering and enhancing equitable care.We propose that the focus on equity concerns during the pandemic should broaden to include providing all people who need it with access to the highest possible standard of end-of-life care. This requires attention to culturally safe care in the following interlinked areas: palliative care, communication and decision support and advanced care planning.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Intensive Care Units , Patient Selection , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Triage/ethics , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Hastings Cent Rep ; 50(3): 28-32, 2020 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-619446

ABSTRACT

In this essay, we suggest practical ways to shift the framing of crisis standards of care toward disability justice. We elaborate on the vision statement provided in the 2010 Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine) "Summary of Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations," which emphasizes fairness; equitable processes; community and provider engagement, education, and communication; and the rule of law. We argue that interpreting these elements through disability justice entails a commitment to both distributive and recognitive justice. The disability rights movement's demand "Nothing about us, without us" requires substantive inclusion of disabled people in decision-making related to their interests, including in crisis planning before, during, and after a pandemic like Covid-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disabled Persons , Health Equity/ethics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Social Justice/ethics , Standard of Care/ethics , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communication , Health Equity/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice/legislation & jurisprudence , Standard of Care/legislation & jurisprudence
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