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1.
Front Public Health ; 10: 907012, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963637

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Quantifying the combined impact of morbidity and mortality is a key enabler to assessing the impact of COVID-19 across countries and within countries relative to other diseases, regions, or demographics. Differences in methods, data sources, and definitions of mortality due to COVID-19 may hamper comparisons. We describe efforts to support countries in estimating the national-level burden of COVID-19 using disability-adjusted life years. Methods: The European Burden of Disease Network developed a consensus methodology, as well as a range of capacity-building activities to support burden of COVID-19 studies. These activities have supported 11 national studies so far, with study periods between January 2020 and December 2021. Results: National studies dealt with various data gaps and different assumptions were made to face knowledge gaps. Still, they delivered broadly comparable results that allow for interpretation of consistencies, as well as differences in the quantified direct health impact of the pandemic. Discussion: Harmonized efforts and methodologies have allowed for comparable estimates and communication of results. Future studies should evaluate the impact of interventions, and unravel the indirect health impact of the COVID-19 crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cost of Illness , Humans , Morbidity , Pandemics , Quality-Adjusted Life Years
2.
Front Public Health ; 10: 734796, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963565

ABSTRACT

To date in Cyprus, there is no dedicated "Quality Improvement" body or Public Health authority. The long-awaited general healthcare system (known as GeSy or GHS) has been completed, mid-stream of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recently proposed resilience plan in response to the lessons learnt from the pandemic was put forward by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to strengthen the capacity of the GHS and support public health defense. The negotiator of GeSy and Health Minister 2015-2018 also provided his view that the health system needs a holistic transformation of service provision. Recognizing failures and thinking from a syndemogenesis perspective how the envisioned patient-centric healthcare delivery can be achieved, we propose that the public health response could also be linked to a politico-economic one in shielding GeSy. We make such case for a syndemic strategy (simultaneous management of COVID-19 and pre-existing epidemics on the island) and the development of the five-district model where each main district hospital is to complement the activities of the GHS through developing: 1. A training Center for training and sharing of best practices for COVID-19 and other public emergencies. 2. A public health body. 3. A quality improvement institute. 4. A commissioning center on planning and streamlining healthcare services. 5. A clinical trial platform. The rationale is based on the management literature and use of existing resources and capabilities for transforming the GeSy and generating value.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Public Health , Syndemic
3.
Int J Public Health ; 67: 1604699, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903253

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Burden of Disease frameworks facilitate estimation of the health impact of diseases to be translated into a single measure, such as the Disability-Adjusted-Life-Year (DALY). Methods: DALYs were calculated as the sum of Years of Life Lost (YLL) and Years Lived with Disability (YLD) directly associated with COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) from 01 March 2020, to 28 February 2021. Life expectancy is based on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study life tables for 2019. Results: There were 220,273 confirmed cases with a total of 4,500 deaths as a direct result of COVID-19. DALYs were estimated to be 51,622.8 (95% Uncertainty Intervals [UI] 50,721.7, 52,435.8). Overall, YLL contributed to 98.5% of the DALYs. Of total symptomatic cases, 6.5% required hospitalisation and of those hospitalised 10.8% required intensive care unit treatment. COVID-19 was likely to be the second highest cause of death over our study's duration. Conclusion: Estimating the burden of a disease at national level is useful for comparing its impact with other diseases in the population and across populations. This work sets out to standardise a COVID-19 BoD methodology framework for the RoI and comparable nations in the EU.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disabled Persons , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disability-Adjusted Life Years , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Life Expectancy , Quality-Adjusted Life Years , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Frontiers in public health ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1898117

ABSTRACT

Objectives Quantifying the combined impact of morbidity and mortality is a key enabler to assessing the impact of COVID-19 across countries and within countries relative to other diseases, regions, or demographics. Differences in methods, data sources, and definitions of mortality due to COVID-19 may hamper comparisons. We describe efforts to support countries in estimating the national-level burden of COVID-19 using disability-adjusted life years. Methods The European Burden of Disease Network developed a consensus methodology, as well as a range of capacity-building activities to support burden of COVID-19 studies. These activities have supported 11 national studies so far, with study periods between January 2020 and December 2021. Results National studies dealt with various data gaps and different assumptions were made to face knowledge gaps. Still, they delivered broadly comparable results that allow for interpretation of consistencies, as well as differences in the quantified direct health impact of the pandemic. Discussion Harmonized efforts and methodologies have allowed for comparable estimates and communication of results. Future studies should evaluate the impact of interventions, and unravel the indirect health impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

5.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 2: 23, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860431

ABSTRACT

The introduction of COVID-19 vaccination passes (VPs) by many countries coincided with the Delta variant fast becoming dominant across Europe. A thorough assessment of their impact on epidemic dynamics is still lacking. Here, we propose the VAP-SIRS model that considers possibly lower restrictions for the VP holders than for the rest of the population, imperfect vaccination effectiveness against infection, rates of (re-)vaccination and waning immunity, fraction of never-vaccinated, and the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant. Some predicted epidemic scenarios for realistic parameter values yield new COVID-19 infection waves within two years, and high daily case numbers in the endemic state, even without introducing VPs and granting more freedom to their holders. Still, suitable adaptive policies can avoid unfavorable outcomes. While VP holders could initially be allowed more freedom, the lack of full vaccine effectiveness and increased transmissibility will require accelerated (re-)vaccination, wide-spread immunity surveillance, and/or minimal long-term common restrictions.

6.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-10, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829863

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread globally, including across Europe, resulting in different morbidity and mortality outcomes. The aim of this study was to explore the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic over 18 mo in relation to the effect of COVID-19 vaccination at a population level across 35 nations in Europe, while evaluating the data for cross-border epidemiological trends to identify any pertinent lessons that can be implemented in the future. METHODS: Epidemiological data were obtained from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and Our World in Data databases while Ministry of Health websites of each respective country and local newspapers were used for COVID-19-related vaccination strategies. Case, mortality, and vaccination incidence comparative analyses were made across neighboring countries. RESULTS: Similar morbidity and mortality outcomes were evident across neighboring countries over 18 mo, with a bidirectional relationship evident between cumulative fully vaccinated population and case fatality rates. CONCLUSION: Countries' COVID-19 outcome is related on national mitigative measures, vaccination rollouts, and neighboring countries' actions and COVID-19 situations. Mass population vaccination appeared to be effective in reducing COVID-19 case severity and mortality rates. Vaccination equity and pan-European commitment for cross-border governance appear to be the way forward to ensure populations' return to "normality."

7.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-10, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829856

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a global impact. The study explores the various COVID-19 experiences in Malta over the past year and provides a snapshot of acute and post-acute COVID-19 symptoms, as well as national vaccination roll-out and hesitancy. METHODS: Data on medical access, lifestyle habits, acute and post-acute COVID-19 symptoms, and vaccination hesitancy was gathered through a social media survey targeting adults of Malta. COVID-19 data were gathered from the Malta Ministry of Health COVID-19 dashboard. RESULTS: Malta controlled COVID-19 spread exceptionally well initially. Since August 2020, the positivity rate, mortality, and hospital admission rates saw a fluctuating incline. From COVID-19 onset, a decrease in physical activity and an increase in body weight was reported. Most participants acquiring COVID-19 were asymptomatic but nontrivial proportion experienced post-acute symptoms. The majority opted to take the COVID-19 vaccine with only a minority expressing safety concerns. CONCLUSIONS: Malta has experienced roller coaster events over a year. The population faced elevated levels of morbidity, mortality, and economic hardship along with negative and positive risk-associated behaviors. Vaccination in combination with population adherence to social distancing, mask wearing, and personal hygiene are expected to be the beacons of hope in the coming months.

8.
Health Sci Rev (Oxf) ; 1: 100006, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828558

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Childhood obesity is a global epidemic and a chronic disease. Multifactorial determinants have long been linked with childhood obesity. These have been challenged with the onset of COVID-19 and the associated mitigation measures. The study aimed to re-highlight these determinants while exploring the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on these pre-existing childhood obesity determinants, while providing evidence that may be beneficial for the post-COVID-19 recovery plan. METHODS: A PubMed literature search (2016-2021) using the keywords, "childhood obesity", "gender", "sex", "obesity in youth", "obesity in adolescents", "COVID-19″ and "SARS-CoV2" was performed. RESULTS: Genetic predisposition, biologically low leptin levels, certain cultural beliefs and socio-economic statuses, as well as exposure to an "obesogenic" environment were found to have a positive association with childhood obesity. Additionally, the onset of COVID-19 further aggravates the childhood obesity epidemic, increasing childrens' susceptibility to obesity and all associated consequential diseases. DISCUSSION: A possible key to the control and prevention of the burden of childhood obesity, lies in dealing with its precursors and risk factors. Certain factors, including socio-cultural norms, cultural beliefs and geographical factors are amenable. COVID-19 further challenged these and it is evident that the childhood obesity epidemic is still a critical one. Encouraging preventative interventions, such as screening programs, public awareness and policies targeting the environment, amongst others, are recommended.

9.
J Diabetes Complications ; 34(9): 107637, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828813

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has taken the world by storm. Alongside COVID-19, diabetes is a long-standing global epidemic. The diabetes population has been reported to suffer adverse outcomes if infected by COVID-19. The aim was to summarise information and resources available on diabetes and COVID-19, highlighting special measures that individuals with diabetes need to follow. METHODS: A search using keywords "COVID-19" and "Diabetes" was performed using different sources, including PubMed and World Health Organization. RESULTS: COVID-19 may enhance complications in individuals with diabetes through an imbalance in angiotension-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) activation pathways leading to an inflammatory response. ACE2 imbalance in the pancreas causes acute ß-cell dysfunction and a resultant hyperglycemic state. These individuals may be prone to worsened COVID-19 complications including vasculopathy, coagulopathy as well as psychological stress. Apart from general preventive measures, remaining hydrated, monitoring blood glucose regularly and monitoring ketone bodies in urine if on insulin is essential. All this while concurrently maintaining physical activity and a healthy diet. Different supporting entities are being set up to help this population. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 is a top priority. It is important to remember that a substantial proportion of the world's population is affected by other co-morbidities such as diabetes. These require special attention during this pandemic to avoid adding on to the burden of countries' healthcare systems.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1336-1349, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718399

ABSTRACT

The entire world has been suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic since March 11, 2020. More than a year later, the COVID-19 vaccination brought hope to control this viral pandemic. Here, we review the unknowns of the COVID-19 vaccination, such as its longevity, asymptomatic spread, long-term side effects, and its efficacy on immunocompromised patients. In addition, we discuss challenges associated with the COVID-19 vaccination, such as the global access and distribution of vaccine doses, adherence to hygiene guidelines after vaccination, the emergence of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants, and vaccine resistance. Despite all these challenges and the fact that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unclear, vaccines have brought great hope for the world, with several reports indicating a significant decline in the risk of COVID19-related infection and hospitalizations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Global Health , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccination/psychology
11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312919

ABSTRACT

How will the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic develop in the coming months and years? Based on an expert survey, we examine key aspects that are likely to influence COVID-19 in Europe. The future challenges and developments will strongly depend on the progress of national and global vaccination programs, the emergence and spread of variants of concern, and public responses to nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). In the short term, many people are still unvaccinated, VOCs continue to emerge and spread, and mobility and population mixing is expected to increase over the summer. Therefore, policies that lift restrictions too much and too early risk another damaging wave. This challenge remains despite the reduced opportunities for transmission due to vaccination progress and reduced indoor mixing in the summer. In autumn 2021, increased indoor activity might accelerate the spread again, but a necessary reintroduction of NPIs might be too slow. The incidence may strongly rise again, possibly filling intensive care units, if vaccination levels are not high enough. A moderate, adaptive level of NPIs will thus remain necessary. These epidemiological aspects are put into perspective with the economic, social, and health-related consequences and thereby provide a holistic perspective on the future of COVID-19.

12.
J Egypt Public Health Assoc ; 97(1): 7, 2022 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673942

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has severely impacted global healthcare services. Malta has only one acute state hospital, Mater Dei Hospital (MDH), and at the time of writing is the most vaccinated country in Europe. Malta thus provides an ideal setting to assess the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare services at population level, including the impact of vaccination on hospital admissions. METHODS: Hospital data was obtained as anonymised totals from MDH's Clinical Performance Unit and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. COVID-19-related data was obtained from the Ministry of Health dashboard. Comparative assessments were performed to explore associations between the COVID-19 situation, vaccination, and hospital activity. Poisson regression was used to model the counts of monthly accident and emergency (A&E), outpatient clinics attendances and hospital admissions. RESULTS: A&E, hospital admissions, and outpatient clinics attendances declined (31.88%; 23.89%; 29.57%; p < 0.01 respectively) with onset of COVID-19 till April 2021 when compared to pre-COVID years (2017-2019). Admissions due to COVID-19 initially increased in parallel to the population's COVID positivity. Vaccination rollout led to a decline in COVID-19 admissions. CONCLUSIONS: The drastic drop in admissions and outpatient attendees was expected but not for A&E attendees as acutely ill patients should still have attended. This is of public health concern since delayed or deferred medical management increases population morbidity, mortality and increases the eventual burden on the healthcare system. Mass vaccination saw the return to normality with an increase in A&E burden.

13.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Jan 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650659

ABSTRACT

A mass vaccination strategy is estimated to be the long-term solution to control COVID-19. Different European countries have committed to vaccination strategies with variable population inoculation rates. We sought to investigate the extent to which the COVID-19 vaccination strategies, inoculation rate, and COVID-19 outcome differ between Cyprus and Malta. Data were obtained from the Ministry of Health websites and COVID-19 dashboards, while vaccination data were obtained from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control until mid-June, 2021. Comparative assessments were performed between the two countries using Microsoft® Excel for Mac, Version 16.54. Both islands took part in the European Union's advanced purchase agreement and received their first batch of vaccines on 27 December 2020. The positivity rate and mortality between December and June differs between the two countries (average positivity rate Cyprus 1.34, Malta 3.37 p ≤ 0.01; average mortality Cyprus 7.29, Malta 9.68 p ≤ 0.01). Both the positivity rate and mortality for Cyprus declined due to strict public health measures and vaccination roll-out in early January (positivity rate by 95% and mortality by 58%). In contrast, for Malta, there was a sharp increase (64% p ≤ 0.01) with almost no public health restrictions in place and soaring cases during the Christmas and Carnival period until March, when lockdown measures were re-introduced. A distinctive difference between Cyprus and Malta in positivity rate (14 per 100,000 population; p ≤ 0.01) can also be observed between January and mid-April 2021. However, from April onwards it is evident that the positivity rate and mortality decline (positivity rate Cyprus by 82%, Malta by 95%; mortality Cyprus by 90%, Malta by 95%, p ≤ 0.01, respectively) in both countries as the vaccination roll-outs progressed, covering about 58.93% of the Maltese population, while Cyprus had fully inoculated about 38.03% of its population. The vaccine strategies and vaccination rates were similar for both countries; yet Malta had the fastest vaccine roll-out. Reluctancy to get vaccinated, significant differences in the vaccination appointment scheduling system, and the freedom of vaccination choice for the citizens in Cyprus may have contributed to a delayed vaccination roll-out. These potential contributing factors should be acknowledged and considered for future vaccination programs and potential COVID-19 boosters.

14.
Z Gesundh Wiss ; 30(2): 459-464, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631425

ABSTRACT

AIM: The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is a global crisis, with more than 2 million of the world's population infected. Public health authorities across the world are working endlessly to contain the situation. The small nation of Malta has been applauded by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe for the instituted escalated public health measures that have kept (up till the time of writing) the COVID-19 spread contained with low transmission rate. The aim of this overview is to give a comprehensive summary of the COVID-19 situation, measures, legislations and initiatives for containment, management and safeguarding the Maltese nation that were taken. SUBJECT AND METHOD: A literature search was conducted using the Google search engine and Maltese online newspapers. RESULTS: To date (22nd April 2020), the COVID-19 situation in Malta is a total confirmed cases of 444, of which 276 are active cases, 165 have recovered and there were three deaths. Various measures were taken early on, from travel bans to prohibition of more than three-person gatherings, backed up with penalties. Both public and private sectors are working together to ensure containment and provision of services to the population. Solidarity has spread across the country. CONCLUSION: A number of timely measures have been taken. However, it is down to the nation to continue to follow the restrictions and regulations instituted by the Superintendent of Public Health in conjunction with the health division and the government to overcome this pandemic together.

15.
Eur J Clin Invest ; 52(4): e13743, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612867

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: All events in Europe, including EURO2020 football championship, were postponed due to Covid-19 in 2020. Instead, Euro2020 took place in 2021, as mitigation measures were relaxed, cross-country mobility increased and the Delta variant was spreading across Europe. This study explored the possibility of an increased Covid-19 spread across Europe following EURO2020 matches. METHODS: Covid-19 data on cases, vaccination and delta variant for participating countries, host cities/regions and neighbouring countries, for May till July 2021, were obtained from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Our World in Data, Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard and the UK Government website. EURO2020 data were obtained from the Union of European Football Associations official website. RESULTS: A general increase in Covid-19 positivity trend in Europe was observed following a week of EURO2020 matches across most countries and host cities. A similar trend was observed for the Delta variant sample positivity rate. The increased incidence was mostly among the young generation (<49 years). A decline in positive cases was observed on a national level for most countries following the Finals match. CONCLUSION: The EURO2020 was an anticipated mass sports event, and it was the first-time spectators were allowed to enter stadiums in Europe. Stadiums instituted several mitigations to safeguard the spectators although reports of transmission were still present. The major challenges were the gatherings outside the stadiums that might have contributed to these observations. Targeted restrictions might be required during mass sport events especially in the presence of highly transmissible variant(s) and low vaccination rates among the young generation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sports , COVID-19/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Eur J Public Health ; 32(2): 316-321, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604433

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 became a global pandemic within weeks, as every country including small states and islands experienced a surge in cases. Small islands are known to face several challenges in the quest to curb the viral spread, but with the absence of land boarders and small population size, these factors should have played to their advantage to minimize the spread. The aim of this article was to compare and contrast the COVID-19 situation, restrictions, preparedness, management and the healthcare systems between the small population island states of Cyprus, Iceland and Malta. METHODS: Data were obtained from Ministry of Health websites and COVID dashboards of the three respective Island states in Europe. Comparisons were made between the reported cases, deaths, excess deaths, years of life lost, swabbing rates, restrictive measures, vaccination roll-out and healthcare system structures. RESULTS: Cyprus and Malta contained the COVID-19 spread better than Iceland during the first wave. However, a significantly higher viral spread and mortality rates were observed in Malta during the second waves. Similar healthcare preparedness and services, restrictions and relaxation measures were implemented across the three islands with some exceptions. Covid-19 vaccination has initiated across all Islands with Malta leading the vaccination roll-out. CONCLUSION: The small population size and island status proved to be an asset during the first wave of COVID-19, but different governance approaches led to a different COVID-19 outcomes, including high mortality rates during the transition phases and the subsequent waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cyprus , Humans , Iceland/epidemiology , Malta/epidemiology
17.
Health Sci Rev (Oxf) ; 1: 100001, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604432

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines reduce morbidity and mortality, but mass vaccination faces multiple challenges leading to different vaccination rates in different countries. Malta, a small European country, has achieved a very rapid vaccination rollout. This paper presents a narrative review of Malta's vaccination strategy and its impact on the country's COVID-19 situation. METHODS: Data was obtained through a literature review of Maltese newspapers and from Malta's COVID-19 government dashboard. A comprehensive summary of vaccination operations was provided by Malta's COVID-19 vaccination team. RESULTS: Malta comprised part of the European Commission joint procurement and obtained the maximum vaccines that were eligible from all manufacturers. Four tier priority population groups were set up, with both vaccine doses (where applicable) allocated and stored for each individual. Multiple hubs were set up to simultaneously administer first and eventually second doses accordingly. To date (August 9, 2021) 398,128 of the population are fully vaccinated and 405,073 received the first dose, with both morbidity and mortality declining progressively as vaccination coverage progressed. CONCLUSION: Malta has successfully implemented a COVID-19 strategy that rapidly covered a substantial proportion of the population over a short period of time, with herd immunity reached by end of May 2021. Low population vaccination hesitancy and high vaccine doses availability were two major factors in this success.

18.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 13: 100294, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587066

ABSTRACT

In the summer of 2021, European governments removed most NPIs after experiencing prolonged second and third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most countries failed to achieve immunization rates high enough to avoid resurgence of the virus. Public health strategies for autumn and winter 2021 have ranged from countries aiming at low incidence by re-introducing NPIs to accepting high incidence levels. However, such high incidence strategies almost certainly lead to the very consequences that they seek to avoid: restrictions that harm people and economies. At high incidence, the important pandemic containment measure 'test-trace-isolate-support' becomes inefficient. At that point, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its numerous harmful consequences can likely only be controlled through restrictions. We argue that all European countries need to pursue a low incidence strategy in a coordinated manner. Such an endeavour can only be successful if it is built on open communication and trust.

19.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295208

ABSTRACT

The introduction of COVID-19 vaccination passes (VPs) by many countries coincides with the Delta variant fast becoming dominant across Europe. A thorough assessment of their impact on epidemic dynamics is still lacking. Here, we propose the VAP-SIRS model that considers possibly lower restrictions for the VP holders than for the rest of the population, imperfect vaccination effectiveness against infection, rates of (re-)vaccination and waning immunity, fraction of never-vaccinated, and the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant. Some predicted epidemic scenarios for realistic parameter values yield new COVID-19 infection waves within two years, and high daily case numbers in the endemic state, even without introducing VPs and granting more freedom to their holders. Still, suitable adaptive policies can avoid unfavorable outcomes. While VP holders could initially be allowed more freedom, the lack of full vaccine effectiveness and increased transmissibility will require accelerated (re-)vaccination, wide-spread immunity surveillance, and/or minimal long-term common restrictions.

20.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1336-1349, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540141

ABSTRACT

The entire world has been suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic since March 11, 2020. More than a year later, the COVID-19 vaccination brought hope to control this viral pandemic. Here, we review the unknowns of the COVID-19 vaccination, such as its longevity, asymptomatic spread, long-term side effects, and its efficacy on immunocompromised patients. In addition, we discuss challenges associated with the COVID-19 vaccination, such as the global access and distribution of vaccine doses, adherence to hygiene guidelines after vaccination, the emergence of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants, and vaccine resistance. Despite all these challenges and the fact that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unclear, vaccines have brought great hope for the world, with several reports indicating a significant decline in the risk of COVID19-related infection and hospitalizations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Global Health , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccination/psychology
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