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Epidemiol Infect ; 151: e27, 2023 01 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2263589


The introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) into the childhood vaccination programme has reduced invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Although anticipated from data elsewhere, surveillance in Ireland has confirmed reductions in IPD amongst those ⩾65 years of age due to a decline of PCV serotypes in this age group. Currently, direct protection against IPD in the elderly is focused on immunisation with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23). However, immunity may not be as effective as with PCV and, furthermore, PPV23 uptake is poor in Ireland. Hence, consideration should be given to providing a PCV to this age group.

Pneumococcal Infections , Streptococcus pneumoniae , Humans , Aged , Vaccines, Conjugate , Pneumococcal Vaccines , Pneumococcal Infections/epidemiology , Pneumococcal Infections/prevention & control , Serogroup
Irish Journal of Sociology ; : 07916035221077863, 2022.
Article in English | Sage | ID: covidwho-1673735


Collective-Memory Work (CMW) is a method of research and learning that relies on a group working together on a topic of shared interest. It aligns with other qualitative approaches such as participatory and feminist research methods, collaborative auto-ethnography, narrative inquiry, and emancipatory adult learning. In CMW participants write short stories from their own memory on a theme agreed in advance. The stories are subsequently scrutinized by the group via detailed textual analysis and recursive discussion. Due to COVID restrictions in 2020, a planned CMW workshop at an Irish higher education institution had to be delivered online. The purpose of this case study is two-fold: first it provides an overview of the CMW approach and how it is implemented in practice, detailing the concrete activities carried out in the workshop. Second, the case study provides insight into running a workshop of this kind online, and the perceived benefits identified by participants of adopting such an approach. We argue that CMW generates an egalitarian group dynamic, encourages active listening, and enables the co-creation of textual analysis in a spirit of collectivity and mutual respect. We suggest that CMW is a versatile method that can be usefully deployed within and beyond academic settings.

Lancet Digit Health ; 3(6): e360-e370, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240696


BACKGROUND: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Neisseria meningitidis, which are typically transmitted via respiratory droplets, are leading causes of invasive diseases, including bacteraemic pneumonia and meningitis, and of secondary infections subsequent to post-viral respiratory disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of invasive disease due to these pathogens during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: In this prospective analysis of surveillance data, laboratories in 26 countries and territories across six continents submitted data on cases of invasive disease due to S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and N meningitidis from Jan 1, 2018, to May, 31, 2020, as part of the Invasive Respiratory Infection Surveillance (IRIS) Initiative. Numbers of weekly cases in 2020 were compared with corresponding data for 2018 and 2019. Data for invasive disease due to Streptococcus agalactiae, a non-respiratory pathogen, were collected from nine laboratories for comparison. The stringency of COVID-19 containment measures was quantified using the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. Changes in population movements were assessed using Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports. Interrupted time-series modelling quantified changes in the incidence of invasive disease due to S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and N meningitidis in 2020 relative to when containment measures were imposed. FINDINGS: 27 laboratories from 26 countries and territories submitted data to the IRIS Initiative for S pneumoniae (62 837 total cases), 24 laboratories from 24 countries submitted data for H influenzae (7796 total cases), and 21 laboratories from 21 countries submitted data for N meningitidis (5877 total cases). All countries and territories had experienced a significant and sustained reduction in invasive diseases due to S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and N meningitidis in early 2020 (Jan 1 to May 31, 2020), coinciding with the introduction of COVID-19 containment measures in each country. By contrast, no significant changes in the incidence of invasive S agalactiae infections were observed. Similar trends were observed across most countries and territories despite differing stringency in COVID-19 control policies. The incidence of reported S pneumoniae infections decreased by 68% at 4 weeks (incidence rate ratio 0·32 [95% CI 0·27-0·37]) and 82% at 8 weeks (0·18 [0·14-0·23]) following the week in which significant changes in population movements were recorded. INTERPRETATION: The introduction of COVID-19 containment policies and public information campaigns likely reduced transmission of S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and N meningitidis, leading to a significant reduction in life-threatening invasive diseases in many countries worldwide. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust (UK), Robert Koch Institute (Germany), Federal Ministry of Health (Germany), Pfizer, Merck, Health Protection Surveillance Centre (Ireland), SpID-Net project (Ireland), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (European Union), Horizon 2020 (European Commission), Ministry of Health (Poland), National Programme of Antibiotic Protection (Poland), Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Poland), Agencia de Salut Pública de Catalunya (Spain), Sant Joan de Deu Foundation (Spain), Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (Sweden), Swedish Research Council (Sweden), Region Stockholm (Sweden), Federal Office of Public Health of Switzerland (Switzerland), and French Public Health Agency (France).

Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Bacterial Infections/transmission , COVID-19/prevention & control , Haemophilus influenzae , Humans , Incidence , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Neisseria meningitidis , Population Surveillance , Prospective Studies , Public Health Practice , Streptococcus agalactiae , Streptococcus pneumoniae