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Front Public Health ; 9: 736976, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528871


Introduction: Italy was one of the earliest countries to experience a severe COVID-19 epidemic and vaccinating the elderly, who constitute 23% of the population and have experienced the highest mortality rates, is a top priority. Estimating prevalences and understanding risk factors for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy or refusal are important for development of targeted interventions. Methods: We used data from a specially developed COVID-19 module of PASSI D'Argento, an ongoing surveillance system of residents 65+ years of age to measure the prevalence and identify risk factors for hesitancy and refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We calculated multinomial regression relative risk ratios to examine the association between demographic characteristics, health status, COVID-19 attitudes and experiences and likely vaccine hesitancy and refusal. Results: Of the 1876 respondents, 55% reported they would accept vaccination and 16% would likely refuse; the remaining 29% were categorized as hesitant. Compared with the acceptance group, we identified several risk factors in common between the hesitancy group and the refusal group, including not having received vaccination against influenza during the previous flu season (hesitancy: RRR = 2.0; 95% CI 1.4-2.9; refusal: RRR = 12.1; 95%CI 7.6-19.4) and lower risk of having had a death from COVID-19 among family or friends (hesitancy: RRR = 4.8; 95%CI 2.0-11.4; refusal: RRR = 15.4; 95%CI 3.7-64.5). The hesitancy group was significantly more likely being worried and they did not know if consequences of the disease would be serious for them. Conclusion: Our findings show the importance of establishing and maintaining active contact between the preventive services, primary care providers and the population because trust is difficult to establish during an emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic. Italian public health is based on a capillary network of general practitioners and having them reach out to their patients who have not previously received influenza vaccine may be a useful strategy for targeting efforts to further encourage uptake of COVID-19 vaccination.

COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Influenza Vaccines , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
Arthritis Rheumatol ; 73(1): 48-52, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696616


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the susceptibility to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with autoimmune conditions treated with antimalarials in a population-based study. METHODS: All residents treated with chloroquine (CQ)/hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) from July through December 2019 and living in 3 provinces of Regione Emilia-Romagna were identified by drug prescription registries and matched with the registry containing all residents living in the same areas who have had swabs and tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated. RESULTS: A total of 4,408 patients were identified. The prevalence of patients receiving antimalarials was 0.85 per 1,000 men and 3.3 per 1,000 women. The cumulative incidence of testing during the study period was 2.7% in the general population and 3.8% among those receiving CQ or HCQ, while the cumulative incidence of testing positive was 0.55% in the general population and 0.70% among those receiving CQ/HCQ. Multivariate models showed that those receiving CQ/HCQ had a slightly higher probability of being tested compared to the general population (OR 1.09 [95% CI 0.94-1.28]), the same probability of being diagnosed as having COVID-19 (OR 0.94 [95% CI 0.66-1.34]), and a slightly lower probability of being positive once tested (OR 0.83 [95% CI 0.56-1.23]). None of the differences were significant. CONCLUSION: Our findings do not support the use of antimalarials as a prophylactic treatment of COVID-19.

Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Juvenile/drug therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid/drug therapy , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/drug therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , SARS-CoV-2