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1.
Elife ; 112022 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2217486

ABSTRACT

Background: Viral sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been used for outbreak investigation, but there is limited evidence supporting routine use for infection prevention and control (IPC) within hospital settings. Methods: We conducted a prospective non-randomised trial of sequencing at 14 acute UK hospital trusts. Sites each had a 4-week baseline data collection period, followed by intervention periods comprising 8 weeks of 'rapid' (<48 hr) and 4 weeks of 'longer-turnaround' (5-10 days) sequencing using a sequence reporting tool (SRT). Data were collected on all hospital-onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs; detected ≥48 hr from admission). The impact of the sequencing intervention on IPC knowledge and actions, and on the incidence of probable/definite hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), was evaluated. Results: A total of 2170 HOCI cases were recorded from October 2020 to April 2021, corresponding to a period of extreme strain on the health service, with sequence reports returned for 650/1320 (49.2%) during intervention phases. We did not detect a statistically significant change in weekly incidence of HAIs in longer-turnaround (incidence rate ratio 1.60, 95% CI 0.85-3.01; p=0.14) or rapid (0.85, 0.48-1.50; p=0.54) intervention phases compared to baseline phase. However, IPC practice was changed in 7.8 and 7.4% of all HOCI cases in rapid and longer-turnaround phases, respectively, and 17.2 and 11.6% of cases where the report was returned. In a 'per-protocol' sensitivity analysis, there was an impact on IPC actions in 20.7% of HOCI cases when the SRT report was returned within 5 days. Capacity to respond effectively to insights from sequencing was breached in most sites by the volume of cases and limited resources. Conclusions: While we did not demonstrate a direct impact of sequencing on the incidence of nosocomial transmission, our results suggest that sequencing can inform IPC response to HOCIs, particularly when returned within 5 days. Funding: COG-UK is supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) (grant code: MC_PC_19027), and Genome Research Limited, operating as the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Clinical trial number: NCT04405934.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Infection Control/methods , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Hospitals
2.
SSM - Population Health ; : 101330, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2165872

ABSTRACT

Objectives To evaluate whether and how community youth teams facilitating participatory adolescent groups, youth leadership and livelihood promotion improved school attendance, dietary diversity, and mental health among adolescent girls in rural India. Design A parallel group, two-arm, superiority, cluster-randomised controlled trial with an embedded process evaluation. Setting, intervention and participants 38 clusters (19 intervention, 19 control) in West Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, India. The intervention included participatory adolescent groups and youth leadership for boys and girls aged 10–19 (intervention clusters only), and family-based livelihood promotion (intervention and control clusters) between June 2017 and March 2020. We surveyed 3324 adolescent girls aged 10–19 in 38 clusters at baseline, and 1478 in 29 clusters at endline. Four intervention and five control clusters were lost to follow up when the trial was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adolescent boys were included in the process evaluation only. Primary and secondary outcome measures Primary: school attendance, dietary diversity, and mental health;12 secondary outcomes related to education, empowerment, experiences of violence, and sexual and reproductive health. Results In intervention vs control clusters, mean dietary diversity score was 4·0 (SD 1·5) vs 3·6 (SD 1·2) (adjDiff 0·34;95%CI -0·23, 0·93, p = 0·242);mean Brief Problem Monitor-Youth (mental health) score was 12·5 (SD 6·0) vs 11·9 (SD 5·9) (adjDiff 0·02, 95%CI -0·06, 0·13, p = 0·610);and school enrolment rates were 70% vs 63% (adjOR 1·39, 95%CI 0·89, 2·16, p = 0·142). Uptake of school-based entitlements was higher in intervention clusters (aOR 2·01;95%CI 1·11, 3·64, p = 0·020). Qualitative data showed that the community youth team had helped adolescents and their parents navigate school bureaucracy, facilitated re-enrolments, and supported access to entitlements. Overall intervention delivery was feasible, but positive impacts were likely undermined by household poverty. Conclusions Participatory adolescent groups, leadership training and livelihood promotion delivered by a community youth team did not improve adolescent girls' mental health, dietary diversity, or school attendance in rural India, but may have increased uptake of education-related entitlements. Trial registration [withheld].

3.
BMJ Open ; 12(12), 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2161869

ABSTRACT

IntroductionThe past decade has seen a rapid increase in the volume and proportion of testing for sexually transmitted infections that are accessed via online postal self-sampling services in the UK. ASSIST (Assessing the impact of online postal self-sampling for sexually transmitted infections on health inequalities, access to care and clinical outcomes in the UK) aims to assess the impact of these services on health inequalities, access to care, and clinical and economic outcomes, and to identify the factors that influence the implementation and sustainability of these services.Methods and analysisASSIST is a mixed-methods, realist evaluated, national study with an in-depth focus of three case study areas (Birmingham, London and Sheffield). An impact evaluation, economic evaluation and implementation evaluation will be conducted. Findings from these evaluations will be analysed together to develop programme theories that explain the outcomes. Data collection includes quantitative data (using national, clinic based and online datasets);qualitative interviews with service users, healthcare professionals and key stakeholders;contextual observations and documentary analysis. STATA 17 and NVivo will be used to conduct the quantitative and qualitative analysis, respectively.Ethics and disseminationThis study has been approved by South Central – Berkshire Research Ethics Committee (ref: 21/SC/0223). All quantitative data accessed and collected will be anonymous. Participants involved with qualitative interviews will be asked for informed consent, and data collected will be anonymised.Our dissemination strategy has been developed to access and engage key audiences in a timely manner and findings will be disseminated via the study website, social media, in peer-reviewed scientific journals, at research conferences, local meetings and seminars and at a concluding dissemination and networking event for stakeholders.

5.
Sexually Transmitted Infections ; 98(Suppl 1):A83, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2020313

ABSTRACT

IntroductionThe COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions (e.g., only interacting within households) induced personal and relationship stressors, which might create conditions that increase intimate partner violence (IPV). We estimated the prevalence and correlates of experiencing IPV in the first year of the pandemic.MethodWe used data from the Natsal-COVID Wave 2—a web-panel survey undertaken one year after the initial British lockdown from 23 March 2020. Quotas and weighting were used to achieve a quasi-representative sample of the British general population. Participants were asked about fearing a partner, which is a simple and effective way to identify IPV experiences.ResultsIn our sample (n = 6302), 9.0% of women and 8.7% of men reported fearing a partner in the first year of the pandemic—about three-quarters of whom reported this occurring more than once. Sociodemographic characteristics associated with fearing a partner during this period included being younger, having had a same-sex sexual partner in the past five years, and being in a relationship. Fearing a partner reportedly affected most of these participants in multiple aspects of their lives. Controlling for age, women (73.3%) were more likely than men (49.9%) to indicate that fearing a partner made them feel anxious or depressed;men were more likely to report increased substance use (30.8% vs. 18.4%) and affected work/studies (30.0% vs. 20.0%).DiscussionPopulation-level estimates of IPV during the pandemic highlight harmful experiences that occurred alongside other wide-ranging hardships, and the associations presented identify key populations with potential ongoing need.

6.
Sex Transm Infect ; 2022 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1993082

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate how differential access to key interventions to reduce STIs, HIV and their sequelae changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: British participants (18-59 years) completed a cross-sectional web survey 1 year (March-April 2021) after the initial lockdown in Britain. Quota-based sampling and weighting resulted in a quasi-representative population sample. We compared Natsal-COVID data with Natsal-3, a household-based probability sample cross-sectional survey (16-74 years) conducted in 2010-2012. Reported unmet need for condoms because of the pandemic and uptake of chlamydia testing/HIV testing/cervical cancer screening were analysed among sexually experienced participants (18-44 years) (n=3869, Natsal-COVID; n=8551, Natsal-3). ORs adjusted for age and other potential confounders describe associations with demographic and behavioural factors. RESULTS: In 2021, 6.9% of women and 16.2% of men reported unmet need for condoms because of the pandemic. This was more likely among participants: aged 18-24 years, of black or black British ethnicity, and reporting same-sex sex (past 5 years) or one or more new relationships (past year). Chlamydia and HIV testing were more commonly reported by younger participants, those reporting condomless sex with new sexual partners and men reporting same-sex partners; a very similar distribution to 10 years previously (Natsal-3). However, there were differences during the pandemic, including stronger associations with chlamydia testing for men reporting same-sex partners; with HIV testing for women reporting new sexual partners and with cervical screening among smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests differential access to key primary and secondary STI/HIV prevention interventions continued during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there was not strong evidence that differential access has changed during the pandemic when compared with 2010-2012. While the pandemic might not have exacerbated inequalities in access to primary and secondary prevention, it is clear that large inequalities persisted, typically among those at greatest STI/HIV risk.

7.
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e052514, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962188

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been a significant cause of mortality in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COG-UK Consortium Hospital-Onset COVID-19 Infections (COG-UK HOCI) study aims to evaluate whether the use of rapid whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, supported by a novel probabilistic reporting methodology, can inform infection prevention and control (IPC) practice within NHS hospital settings. DESIGN: Multicentre, prospective, interventional, superiority study. SETTING: 14 participating NHS hospitals over winter-spring 2020/2021 in the UK. PARTICIPANTS: Eligible patients must be admitted to hospital with first-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive test result >48 hour from time of admission, where COVID-19 diagnosis not suspected on admission. The projected sample size is 2380 patients. INTERVENTION: The intervention is the return of a sequence report, within 48 hours in one phase (rapid local lab processing) and within 5-10 days in a second phase (mimicking central lab), comparing the viral genome from an eligible study participant with others within and outside the hospital site. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcomes are incidence of Public Health England (PHE)/IPC-defined SARS-CoV-2 hospital-acquired infection during the baseline and two interventional phases, and proportion of hospital-onset cases with genomic evidence of transmission linkage following implementation of the intervention where such linkage was not suspected by initial IPC investigation. Secondary outcomes include incidence of hospital outbreaks, with and without sequencing data; actual and desirable changes to IPC actions; periods of healthcare worker (HCW) absence. Health economic analysis will be conducted to determine cost benefit of the intervention. A process evaluation using qualitative interviews with HCWs will be conducted alongside the study. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN50212645. Pre-results stage. This manuscript is based on protocol V.6.0. 2 September 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Hospitals , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , State Medicine , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom/epidemiology
8.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 3(7): e470-e480, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915225

ABSTRACT

Background: Residents and staff in long-term care facilities have been prioritised for vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, but data on potential waning of vaccine effectiveness and the effect of booster doses in this vulnerable population are scarce. We aimed to evaluate effectiveness of one, two, and three vaccine doses against infection and severe clinical outcomes in staff and residents of long-term care facilities in England over the first year following vaccine roll-out. Methods: The VIVALDI study is a prospective cohort study done in 331 long-term care facilities in England. Residents aged 65 years or older and staff aged 18 years or older were eligible for participation. Participants had routine PCR testing throughout the study period between Dec 8, 2020, and Dec 11, 2021. We retrieved all PCR results and cycle threshold values for PCR-positive samples from routine testing in long-term care facilities, and positive PCR results from clinical testing in hospitals through the UK's COVID-19 Datastore. PCR results were linked to participants using pseudo-identifiers based on individuals' unique UK National Health Service (NHS) numbers, which were also used to retrieve vaccination records from the National Immunisation Management Service, hospitalisation records from NHS England, and deaths data from the Office for National Statistics through the COVID-19 Datastore. In a Cox proportional hazards regression, we estimated vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19-related hospitalisation, and COVID-19-related death after one, two, and three vaccine doses, separately by previous SARS-CoV-2 exposure. This study is registered with the ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN 14447421. Findings: 80 186 residents and staff of long-term care facilities had records available for the study period, of whom 15 518 eligible residents and 19 515 eligible staff were included in the analysis. For residents without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 exposure, vaccine effectiveness decreased from 61·7% (95% CI 35·1 to 77·4) to 22·0% (-14·9 to 47·0) against infection; from 89·0% (70·6 to 95·9) to 56·3% (30·1 to 72·6) against hospitalisation; and from 96·4% (84·3 to 99·2) to 64·4% (36·1 to 80·1) against death, when comparing 14-83 days after dose two and 84 days or more after dose two. For staff without evidence of previous exposure, vaccine effectiveness against infection decreased slightly from 57·9% (43·1 to 68·9) at 14-83 days after dose two to 42·1% (29·9 to 52·2) at 84 days or more after dose two. There were no hospitalisations or deaths among unexposed staff at 14-83 days, but seven hospitalisations (vaccine effectiveness 91·0% [95% CI 74·3 to 96·8]) and one death were observed at 84 days or more after dose two. High vaccine effectiveness was restored following a third vaccine dose, with vaccine effectiveness in unexposed residents of 72·7% (55·8 to 83·1) against infection, 90·1% (80·6 to 95·0) against hospitalisation, and 97·5% (88·1 to 99·5) against death; and vaccine effectiveness in unexposed staff of 78·2% (70·0 to 84·1) against infection and 95·8% (49·9 to 99·6) against hospitalisation. There were no COVID-19-related deaths among unexposed staff after the third vaccine dose. Interpretation: Our findings showed substantial waning of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against all outcomes in residents of long-term care facilities from 12 weeks after a primary course of ChAdOx1-S or mRNA vaccines. Boosters restored protection, and maximised immunity across all outcomes. These findings show the importance of boosting and the need for ongoing surveillance in this vulnerable cohort. Funding: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Long-Term Care , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , Vaccine Efficacy
9.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 3(7): e461-e469, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915222

ABSTRACT

Background: Older age and frailty are risk factors for poor clinical outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection. As such, COVID-19 vaccination has been prioritised for individuals with these factors, but there is concern that immune responses might be impaired due to age-related immune dysregulation and comorbidity. We aimed to study humoral and cellular responses to COVID-19 vaccines in residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Methods: In this observational cohort study, we assessed antibody and cellular immune responses following COVID-19 vaccination in members of staff and residents at 74 LTCFs across the UK. Staff and residents were eligible for inclusion if it was possible to link them to a pseudo-identifier in the COVID-19 datastore, if they had received two vaccine doses, and if they had given a blood sample 6 days after vaccination at the earliest. There were no comorbidity exclusion criteria. Participants were stratified by age (<65 years or ≥65 years) and infection status (previous SARS-CoV-2 infection [infection-primed group] or SARS-CoV-2 naive [infection-naive group]). Anticoagulated edetic acid (EDTA) blood samples were assessed and humoral and cellular responses were quantified. Findings: Between Dec 11, 2020, and June 27, 2021, blood samples were taken from 220 people younger than 65 years (median age 51 years [IQR 39-61]; 103 [47%] had previously had a SARS-CoV-2 infection) and 268 people aged 65 years or older of LTCFs (median age 87 years [80-92]; 144 [43%] had a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection). Samples were taken a median of 82 days (IQR 72-100) after the second vaccination. Antibody responses following dual vaccination were strong and equivalent between participants younger then 65 years and those aged 65 years and older in the infection-primed group (median 125 285 Au/mL [1128 BAU/mL] for <65 year olds vs 157 979 Au/mL [1423 BAU/mL] for ≥65 year olds; p=0·47). The antibody response was reduced by 2·4-times (467 BAU/mL; p≤0·0001) in infection-naive people younger than 65 years and 8·1-times (174 BAU/mL; p≤0·0001) in infection-naive residents compared with their infection-primed counterparts. Antibody response was 2·6-times lower in infection-naive residents than in infection-naive people younger than 65 years (p=0·0006). Impaired neutralisation of delta (1.617.2) variant spike binding was also apparent in infection-naive people younger than 65 years and in those aged 65 years and older. Spike-specific T-cell responses were also significantly enhanced in the infection-primed group. Infection-naive people aged 65 years and older (203 SFU per million [IQR 89-374]) had a 52% lower T-cell response compared with infection-naive people younger than 65 years (85 SFU per million [30-206]; p≤0·0001). Post-vaccine spike-specific CD4 T-cell responses displayed single or dual production of IFN-γ and IL-2 were similar across infection status groups, whereas the infection-primed group had an extended functional profile with TNFα and CXCL10 production. Interpretation: These data reveal suboptimal post-vaccine immune responses within infection-naive residents of LTCFs, and they suggest the need for optimisation of immune protection through the use of booster vaccination. Funding: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Long-Term Care , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
10.
J Infect Dis ; 226(11): 1877-1881, 2022 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883018

ABSTRACT

General population studies have shown strong humoral response following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination with subsequent waning of anti-spike antibody levels. Vaccine-induced immune responses are often attenuated in frail and older populations, but published data are scarce. We measured SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike antibody levels in long-term care facility residents and staff following a second vaccination dose with Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech. Vaccination elicited robust antibody responses in older residents, suggesting comparable levels of vaccine-induced immunity to that in the general population. Antibody levels are higher after Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination but fall more rapidly compared to Oxford-AstraZeneca recipients and are enhanced by prior infection in both groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , BNT162 Vaccine , Long-Term Care , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibodies, Viral , England
11.
Age Ageing ; 51(5)2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860800

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are at high risk of adverse outcomes from SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to estimate the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of one and two doses of BNT162b2 and ChAdOx-1 against SARS CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related death in residents of LTCFs. METHODS: this observational study used testing, vaccination and mortality data for LTCF residents aged ≥ 65 years who were regularly tested regardless of symptoms from 8 December 2020 to 30 September 2021 in England. Adjusted VE, calculated as one minus adjusted hazard ratio, was estimated using time-varying Cox proportional hazards models for infection and death within 28 days of positive test result. Vaccine status was defined by receipt of one or two doses of vaccine and assessed over a range of intervals. RESULTS: of 197,885 LTCF residents, 47,087 (23.8%) had a positive test and 11,329 (5.8%) died within 28 days of a positive test during the study period. Relative to unvaccinated individuals, VE for infection was highest for ChAdOx-1 at 61% (40-74%) at 1-4 weeks and for BNT162b2 at 69% (52-80%) at 11-15 weeks following the second dose. Against death, VE was highest for ChAdOx-1 at 83% (58-94%) at 1-4 weeks and for BNT162b2 at 91% (75-97%) at 11-15 weeks following second dose. CONCLUSIONS: compared with unvaccinated residents, vaccination with one dose of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx-1 provided moderate protection against infection and death in residents of LTCFs. Protection against death improved after two doses. However, some waning of protection over time was noted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , England/epidemiology , Humans , Long-Term Care , Proportional Hazards Models
12.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 209, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1835903

ABSTRACT

Background: Britain's National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) have been undertaken decennially since 1990 and provide a key data source underpinning sexual and reproductive health (SRH) policy. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of sexual lifestyles, triggering an urgent need for population-level data on sexual behaviour, relationships, and service use at a time when gold-standard in-person, household-based surveys with probability sampling were not feasible. We designed the Natsal-COVID study to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the nation's SRH and assessed the sample representativeness. Methods: Natsal-COVID Wave 1 data collection was conducted four months (29/7-10/8/2020) after the announcement of Britain's first national lockdown (23/03/2020). This was an online web-panel survey administered by survey research company, Ipsos MORI. Eligible participants were resident in Britain, aged 18-59 years, and the sample included a boost of those aged 18-29. Questions covered participants' sexual behaviour, relationships, and SRH service use. Quotas and weighting were used to achieve a quasi-representative sample of the British general population. Participants meeting criteria of interest and agreeing to recontact were selected for qualitative follow-up interviews. Comparisons were made with contemporaneous national probability surveys and Natsal-3 (2010-12) to understand bias. Results: 6,654 participants completed the survey and 45 completed follow-up interviews. The weighted Natsal-COVID sample was similar to the general population in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, rurality, and, among sexually-active participants, numbers of sexual partners in the past year. However, the sample was more educated, contained more sexually-inexperienced people, and included more people in poorer health. Conclusions: Natsal-COVID Wave 1 rapidly collected quasi-representative population data to enable evaluation of the early population-level impact of COVID-19 and lockdown measures on SRH in Britain and inform policy. Although sampling was less representative than the decennial Natsals, Natsal-COVID will complement national surveillance data and Natsal-4 (planned for 2022).

13.
Wellcome open research ; 6, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1823881

ABSTRACT

Background: Britain’s National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) have been undertaken decennially since 1990 and provide a key data source underpinning sexual and reproductive health (SRH) policy. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of sexual lifestyles, triggering an urgent need for population-level data on sexual behaviour, relationships, and service use at a time when gold-standard in-person, household-based surveys with probability sampling were not feasible. We designed the Natsal-COVID study to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s SRH and assessed the sample representativeness. Methods: Natsal-COVID Wave 1 data collection was conducted four months (29/7-10/8/2020) after the announcement of Britain’s first national lockdown (23/03/2020). This was an online web-panel survey administered by survey research company, Ipsos MORI. Eligible participants were resident in Britain, aged 18-59 years, and the sample included a boost of those aged 18-29. Questions covered participants’ sexual behaviour, relationships, and SRH service use. Quotas and weighting were used to achieve a quasi-representative sample of the British general population. Participants meeting criteria of interest and agreeing to recontact were selected for qualitative follow-up interviews. Comparisons were made with contemporaneous national probability surveys and Natsal-3 (2010-12) to understand bias. Results: 6,654 participants completed the survey and 45 completed follow-up interviews. The weighted Natsal-COVID sample was similar to the general population in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, rurality, and, among sexually-active participants, numbers of sexual partners in the past year. However, the sample was more educated, contained more sexually-inexperienced people, and included more people in poorer health. Conclusions: Natsal-COVID Wave 1 rapidly collected quasi-representative population data to enable evaluation of the early population-level impact of COVID-19 and lockdown measures on SRH in Britain. Although sampling was less representative than the decennial Natsals, Natsal-COVID will complement national surveillance data and Natsal-4 (planned for 2022).

14.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 3(5): e347-e355, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821559

ABSTRACT

Background: The SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant (B.1.1.529) is highly transmissible, but disease severity appears to be reduced compared with previous variants such as alpha and delta. We investigated the risk of severe outcomes following infection in residents of long-term care facilities. Methods: We did a prospective cohort study in residents of long-term care facilities in England who were tested regularly for SARS-CoV-2 between Sept 1, 2021, and Feb 1, 2022, and who were participants of the VIVALDI study. Residents were eligible for inclusion if they had a positive PCR or lateral flow device test during the study period, which could be linked to a National Health Service (NHS) number, enabling linkage to hospital admissions and mortality datasets. PCR or lateral flow device test results were linked to national hospital admission and mortality records using the NHS-number-based pseudo-identifier. We compared the risk of hospital admission (within 14 days following a positive SARS-CoV-2 test) or death (within 28 days) in residents who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the period shortly before omicron emerged (delta-dominant) and in the omicron-dominant period, adjusting for age, sex, primary vaccine course, past infection, and booster vaccination. Variants were confirmed by sequencing or spike-gene status in a subset of samples. Results: 795 233 tests were done in 333 long-term care facilities, of which 159 084 (20·0%) could not be linked to a pseudo-identifier and 138 012 (17·4%) were done in residents. Eight residents had two episodes of infection (>28 days apart) and in these cases the second episode was excluded from the analysis. 2264 residents in 259 long-term care facilities (median age 84·5 years, IQR 77·9-90·0) were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2, of whom 253 (11·2%) had a previous infection and 1468 (64·8%) had received a booster vaccination. About a third of participants were male. Risk of hospital admissions was markedly lower in the 1864 residents infected in the omicron-period (4·51%, 95% CI 3·65-5·55) than in the 400 residents infected in the pre-omicron period (10·50%, 7·87-13·94), as was risk of death (5·48% [4·52-6·64] vs 10·75% [8·09-14·22]). Adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) also indicated a reduction in hospital admissions (0·64, 95% CI 0·41-1·00; p=0·051) and mortality (aHR 0·68, 0·44-1·04; p=0·076) in the omicron versus the pre-omicron period. Findings were similar in residents with a confirmed variant. Interpretation: Observed reduced severity of the omicron variant compared with previous variants suggests that the wave of omicron infections is unlikely to lead to a major surge in severe disease in long-term care facility populations with high levels of vaccine coverage or natural immunity. Continued surveillance in this vulnerable population is important to protect residents from infection and monitor the public health effect of emerging variants. Funding: UK Department of Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Long-Term Care , Male , Prospective Studies , State Medicine
15.
J Sex Res ; : 1-12, 2022 Mar 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740547

ABSTRACT

Intimate relationships are ubiquitous and exert a strong influence on health. Widespread disruption to them may impact wellbeing at a population level. We investigated the extent to which the first COVID-19 lockdown (March 2020) affected steady relationships in Britain. In total, 6,654 participants aged 18-59 years completed a web-panel survey (July-August 2020). Quasi-representativeness was achieved via quota sampling and weighting. We explored changes in sex life and relationship quality among participants in steady relationships (n = 4,271) by age, gender, and cohabitation status, and examined factors associated with deterioration to a lower-quality relationship. A total of 64.2% of participants were in a steady relationship (of whom 88.9% were cohabiting). A total of 22.1% perceived no change in their sex-life quality, and 59.5% no change in their relationship quality. Among those perceiving change, sex-life quality was more commonly reported to decrease and relationship quality to improve. There was significant variation by age; less often by gender or cohabitation. Overall, 10.6% reported sexual difficulties that started/worsened during lockdown. In total, 6.9% reported deterioration to a "lower quality" relationship, more commonly those: aged 18-24 and aged 35-44; not living with partner (women only); and reporting depression/anxiety and decrease in sex-life quality. In conclusion, intimate relationship quality is yet another way in which COVID-19 has led to divergence in experience.

16.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e055284, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691310

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Physical distancing as a non-pharmaceutical intervention aims to reduce interactions between people to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Intimate physical contact outside the household (IPCOH) may expand transmission networks by connecting households. We aimed to explore whether intimacy needs impacted adherence to physical distancing following lockdown in Britain in March 2020. METHODS: The Natsal-COVID web-panel survey (July-August 2020) used quota-sampling and weighting to achieve a quasi-representative population sample. We estimate reporting of IPCOH with a romantic/sexual partner in the 4 weeks prior to interview, describe the type of contact, identify demographic and behavioural factors associated with IPCOH and present age-adjusted ORs (aORs). Qualitative interviews (n=18) were conducted to understand the context, reasons and decision making around IPCOH. RESULTS: Of 6654 participants aged 18-59 years, 9.9% (95% CI 9.1% to 10.6%) reported IPCOH. IPCOH was highest in those aged 18-24 (17.7%), identifying as gay or lesbian (19.5%), and in steady non-cohabiting relationships (56.3%). IPCOH was associated with reporting risk behaviours (eg, condomless sex, higher alcohol consumption). IPCOH was less likely among those reporting bad/very bad health (aOR 0.54; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.93) but more likely among those with COVID-19 symptoms and/or diagnosis (aOR 1.34; 95% CI 1.10 to 1.65). Two-thirds (64.4%) of IPCOH was reported as being within a support bubble. Qualitative interviews found that people reporting IPCOH deliberated over, and made efforts to mitigate, the risks. CONCLUSIONS: Given 90% of people did not report IPCOH, this contact may not be a large additional contributor to SARS-CoV-2 transmission, although heterogeneity exists within the population. Public health messages need to recognise how single people and partners living apart balance sexual intimacy and relationship needs with adherence to control measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Partners , Young Adult
17.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 3(1): e13-e21, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665611

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long-term care facilities (LTCFs) have reported high SARS-CoV-2 infection rates and related mortality, but the proportion of infected people among those who have survived, and duration of the antibody response to natural infection, is unknown. We determined the prevalence and stability of nucleocapsid antibodies (the standard assay for detection of previous infection) in staff and residents in LTCFs in England. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study of residents 65 years or older and of staff 65 years or younger in 201 LTCFs in England between March 1, 2020, and May 7, 2021. Participants were linked to a unique pseudo-identifier based on their UK National Health Service identification number. Serial blood samples were tested for IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein using the Abbott ARCHITECT i-system (Abbott, Maidenhead, UK) immunoassay. Primary endpoints were prevalence and cumulative incidence of antibody positivity, which were weighted to the LTCF population. Incidence rate of loss of antibodies (seroreversion) was estimated from Kaplan-Meier curves. FINDINGS: 9488 samples were included, 8636 (91·0%) of which could be individually linked to 1434 residents and 3288 staff members. The cumulative incidence of nucleocapsid seropositivity was 34·6% (29·6-40·0) in residents and 26·1% (23·0-29·5) in staff over 11 months. 239 (38·6%) residents and 503 women (81·3%) were included in the antibody-waning analysis, and median follow-up was 149 days (IQR 107-169). The incidence rate of seroreversion was 2·1 per 1000 person-days at risk, and median time to reversion was 242·5 days. INTERPRETATION: At least a quarter of staff and a third of surviving residents were infected with SAR-CoV-2 during the first two waves of the pandemic in England. Nucleocapsid-specific antibodies often become undetectable within the first year following infection, which is likely to lead to marked underestimation of the true proportion of people with previous infection. Given that natural infection might act to boost vaccine responses, better assays to identify natural infection should be developed. FUNDING: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Antibodies, Viral , Female , Humans , Long-Term Care , Nucleocapsid , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
18.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(11): 1529-1538, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637724

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in older adults living in long-term care facilities is uncertain. We investigated the protective effect of the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca non-replicating viral-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19; AZD1222) and the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA-based vaccine (BNT162b2) in residents of long-term care facilities in terms of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection over time since vaccination. METHODS: The VIVALDI study is a prospective cohort study that commenced recruitment on June 11, 2020, to investigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission, infection outcomes, and immunity in residents and staff in long-term care facilities in England that provide residential or nursing care for adults aged 65 years and older. In this cohort study, we included long-term care facility residents undergoing routine asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 testing between Dec 8, 2020 (the date the vaccine was first deployed in a long-term care facility), and March 15, 2021, using national testing data linked within the COVID-19 Datastore. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we estimated the relative hazard of PCR-positive infection at 0-6 days, 7-13 days, 14-20 days, 21-27 days, 28-34 days, 35-48 days, and 49 days and beyond after vaccination, comparing unvaccinated and vaccinated person-time from the same cohort of residents, adjusting for age, sex, previous infection, local SARS-CoV-2 incidence, long-term care facility bed capacity, and clustering by long-term care facility. We also compared mean PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values for positive swabs obtained before and after vaccination. The study is registered with ISRCTN, number 14447421. FINDINGS: 10 412 care home residents aged 65 years and older from 310 LTCFs were included in this analysis. The median participant age was 86 years (IQR 80-91), 7247 (69·6%) of 10 412 residents were female, and 1155 residents (11·1%) had evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. 9160 (88·0%) residents received at least one vaccine dose, of whom 6138 (67·0%) received ChAdOx1 and 3022 (33·0%) received BNT162b2. Between Dec 8, 2020, and March 15, 2021, there were 36 352 PCR results in 670 628 person-days, and 1335 PCR-positive infections (713 in unvaccinated residents and 612 in vaccinated residents) were included. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for PCR-positive infection relative to unvaccinated residents declined from 28 days after the first vaccine dose to 0·44 (95% CI 0·24-0·81) at 28-34 days and 0·38 (0·19-0·77) at 35-48 days. Similar effect sizes were seen for ChAdOx1 (adjusted HR 0·32, 95% CI 0·15-0·66) and BNT162b2 (0·35, 0·17-0·71) vaccines at 35-48 days. Mean PCR Ct values were higher for infections that occurred at least 28 days after vaccination than for those occurring before vaccination (31·3 [SD 8·7] in 107 PCR-positive tests vs 26·6 [6·6] in 552 PCR-positive tests; p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: Single-dose vaccination with BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 vaccines provides substantial protection against infection in older adults from 4-7 weeks after vaccination and might reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. However, the risk of infection is not eliminated, highlighting the ongoing need for non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent transmission in long-term care facilities. FUNDING: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Nursing Homes/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunization Schedule , Incidence , Male , Mass Vaccination/methods , Mass Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Treatment Outcome
19.
Lancet Public Health ; 7(1): e36-e47, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592783

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service use and unmet need, but the impact is unknown. We aimed to determine the proportion of participants reporting sexual risk behaviours, SRH service use and unmet need, and to assess remote sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing service use after the first national lockdown in Britain. METHODS: We used data from the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal)-COVID cross-sectional, quasi-representative web survey (Natsal-COVID Wave 1). Adults aged 18-59 years who resided in England, Scotland, or Wales completed the survey between July 29 and Aug 10, 2020, which included questions about the approximate 4-month period after announcement of the initial lockdown in Britain (March 23, 2020). Quota-based sampling and weighting were used to achieve a quasi-representative population sample. Participants aged 45-59 years were excluded from services analysis due to low rates of SRH service use. Among individuals aged 18-44 years, we estimated reported SRH service use and inability to access, and calculated age-adjusted odds ratios (aORs) among sexually experienced individuals (those reporting any sexual partner in their lifetime) and sexually active individuals (those reporting any sexual partner in the past year). Unweighted denominators and weighted estimates are presented hereafter. FINDINGS: 6654 individuals had complete interviews and were included in the analysis. Among 3758 participants aged 18-44 years, 82·0% reported being sexually experienced, and 73·7% reported being sexually active. 20·8% of sexually experienced participants aged 18-44 years reported using SRH services in the 4-month period. Overall, 9·7% of 3108 participants (9·5% of men; 9·9% of women) reported being unable to use a service they needed, although of the participants who reported trying but not being able to use a SRH service at least once, 76·4% of participants also reported an instance of successful use. 5·9% of 1221 sexually active men and 3·6% of 1560 sexually active women reported use of STI-related services and 14·8% of 1728 sexually experienced women reported use of contraceptive services, with SRH service use highest among individuals aged 18-24 years. Sexually active participants reporting condomless sex with new partners since lockdown were much more likely to report using STI-related services than those who did not report condomless sex (aOR 23·8 [95% CI 11·6-48·9]) for men, 10·5 [3·9-28·2] for women) and, among men, were also more likely to have an unsuccessful attempt at STI-service use (aOR 13·3 [5·3-32·9]). Among 106 individuals who reported using STI testing services, 64·4% accessed services remotely (telephone, video, or online). Among 2581 women aged 25-59 years, 2·4% reported cervical screening compared with an estimated 6% in a comparable 4-month period before the pandemic. INTERPRETATION: Many people accessed SRH care during the initial lockdown; however, young people and those reporting sexual risk behaviours reported difficulties in accessing services and thus such services might need to address a backlog of need. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust, The Economic and Social Research Council, The National Institute for Health Research, Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office and Public Health Sciences Unit, and UCL Coronavirus Response Fund.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services Accessibility , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Reproductive Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Sexual Behavior , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Early Detection of Cancer , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Quarantine , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control , Young Adult
20.
Sex Transm Infect ; 98(7): 469-477, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582973

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Physical restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 dramatically altered sexual lifestyles but the specific impacts on sexual behaviour are still emerging. We investigated physical and virtual sexual activities, sexual frequency and satisfaction in the 4 months following lockdown in Britain in March 2020 and compared with pre-lockdown. METHODS: Weighted analyses of web panel survey data collected July/August 2020 from a quota-based sample of 6654 people aged 18-59 years in Britain. Multivariable regression took account of participants' opportunity for partnered sex, gender and age, to examine their independent associations with perceived changes in sexual frequency and satisfaction. RESULTS: Most participants (86.7%) reported some form of sex following lockdown with physical activities more commonly reported than virtual activities (83.7% vs 52.6%). Altogether, 63.2% reported sex with someone ('partnered sex') since lockdown, three-quarters of whom were in steady cohabiting relationships. With decreasing relationship formality, partnered sex was less frequently reported, while masturbation, sex toy use and virtual activities were more frequently reported. Around half of all participants perceived no change in partnered sex frequency compared with the 3 months pre-lockdown, but this was only one-third among those not cohabiting, who were more likely to report increases in non-partnered activities than those cohabiting. Two-thirds of participants perceived no change in sexual satisfaction; declines were more common among those not cohabiting. Relationship informality and younger age were independently associated with perceiving change, often declines, in sexual frequency and satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: Our quasi-representative study of the British population found a substantial minority reported significant shifts in sexual repertoires, frequency and satisfaction following the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions. However, these negative changes were perceived by some more than others; predominantly those not cohabiting and the young. As these groups are most likely to experience adverse sexual health, it is important to monitor behaviour as restrictions ease to understand the longer term consequences, including for health services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , United Kingdom/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Sexual Behavior , Sexual Partners
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