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Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making ; 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2123297


Despite the increased importance attributed to distributed improvisation in major crises, few studies investigate how central authorities can promote a harmonic, coordinated national response while allowing for distributed autonomy and improvisation. One idea implicit in the literature is that central authorities could help track and tackle common decision bottlenecks as they emerge across "improvising" local authorities as a result of shared, dynamic external constraints. To explore this idea we map central functions needed to roll-out vaccines to local populations and identify and classify bottlenecks to decision-making by local authorities managing COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Norway. We found five bottlenecks which emerged as vaccine roll-out progressed, three of which could feasibly have been addressed by changing the local authorities' external constraints as the crisis developed. While the national crisis response strategy clearly allowed for distributed improvisation, our overall findings suggest that there is potential for central authorities to address external constraints in order to ease common bottlenecks as they emerge across local authorities responding to the crisis. More research is to explore alternative centralized response strategies and assess how well they effectively balance centralized and distributed control. The study contributes to the growing literature examining the interaction between local and centralized response in crisis management.

Vaccine ; 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2086814


BACKGROUND: Polarized debates about Covid-19 vaccination and vaccine mandates for healthcare workers (HCWs) challenge Belgian HCWs ability to discuss Covid-19 vaccine sentiments with peers and patients.Although studies have identified drivers of HCWs vaccine hesitancy, they do not include effects of workplace interactions and have not addressed consequences beyond vaccine coverage. METHODS: Interviews and focus group discussions with 74 HCWs practicing in Belgium addressed Covid-19 vaccine sentiments and experiences of discussing vaccination with peers and patients. RESULTS: Most participating HCWs reported difficulties discussing Covid-19 vaccination with peers and patients. Unvaccinated HCWs often feared that expressing their vaccine sentiments might upset patients or peers and that they would be suspended. Consequently, they used social cues to evaluate others' openness to vaccine-skeptical discourses and avoided discussing vaccines. Surprisingly, some vaccine-confident HCWs hid their vaccine sentiments to avoid peer and patient conflicts. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated HCWs observed that unvaccinated patients occasionally received suboptimal care. Suboptimal care was central in unvaccinated HCW unwillingness to express their vaccine sentiments to peers. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated HCWs described loss of trust and ruptured social relations with peers and patients holding divergent vaccine sentiments. DISCUSSION: Belgian HCW perceived Covid-19 vaccines as a risky discussion topic and engaged in "strategic silences" around vaccination to maintain functional work relationships and employment in health institutions. Loss of trust between HCW and peers or patients, along with suboptimal patient care based on vaccination status, threaten to weaken Belgium's, and by implication, other health systems, and to catalyze preventable disease outbreaks.

Eur J Pediatr ; 181(2): 571-578, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1375639


It is not yet clear to what extent SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in children reflect community transmission, nor whether infection rates differ between primary schoolchildren and young teenagers. A cross-sectional serosurvey compared the SARS-CoV2 attack-rate in a sample of 362 children recruited from September 21 to October 6, 2020, in primary (ages 6-12) or lower secondary school (ages 12-15) in a municipality with low community transmission (Pelt) to a municipality with high community transmission (Alken) in Belgium. Children were equally distributed over grades and regions. Blood samples were tested for the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We found anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 4.4% of children in the low transmission region and in 14.4% of children in the high transmission region. None of the primary schoolchildren were seropositive in the low transmission region, whereas the seroprevalence among primary and secondary schoolchildren did not differ significantly in the high transmission region. None of the seropositive children suffered from severe disease. Children who were in contact with a confirmed case (RR 2.9; 95%CI 1.6-4.5), who participated in extracurricular activities (RR 5.6; 95%CI 1.2-25.3), or whose caregiver is a healthcare worker who had contact with COVID-19 patients (RR 2.2; 95%CI 1.0-4.6) were at higher risk of seropositivity. If SARS-CoV2 circulation in the community is high, this will be reflected in the pediatric population with similar infection rates in children aged 6-12 years and 12-15 years. What is Known: •Children are generally less affected by COVID-19 than adults but SARS-CoV2 infection rates among children are not well known. •There were large regional differences in infection rates during the first wave of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic. What is New: •None of the primary schoolchildren (6-12 years) were seropositive for SARS-CoV2 in an area with a low community transmission, but infection rates were higher in adolescents (12-15 years). •In an area with high community transmission, seroprevalence rates in younger children were more comparable to those in adolescents.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , RNA, Viral , Seroepidemiologic Studies