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PubMed; 2022.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-337393


England has experienced a heavy burden of COVID-19, with multiple waves of SARS-CoV-2 transmission since early 2020 and high infection levels following the emergence and spread of Omicron variants since late 2021. In response to rising Omicron cases, booster vaccinations were accelerated and offered to all adults in England. Using a model fitted to more than 2 years of epidemiological data, we project potential dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospital admissions and deaths in England to December 2022. We consider key uncertainties including future behavioural change and waning immunity, and assess the effectiveness of booster vaccinations in mitigating SARS-CoV-2 disease burden between October 2021 and December 2022. If no new variants emerge, SARS-CoV-2 transmission is expected to decline, with low levels remaining in the coming months. The extent to which projected SARS-CoV-2 transmission resurges later in 2022 depends largely on assumptions around waning immunity and to some extent, behaviour and seasonality.

Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326899


A new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, Omicron (B.1.1.529), has been identified based on genomic sequencing and epidemiological data in South Africa. Presumptive Omicron cases in South Africa have grown extremely rapidly, despite high prior exposure and moderate vaccination coverage. The available evidence suggests that Omicron spread is at least in part due to evasion of this immune protection, though Omicron may also exhibit higher intrinsic transmissibility. Using detailed laboratory and epidemiological data from South Africa, we estimate the constraints on these two characteristics of the new variant and their relationship. Our estimates and associated uncertainties provide essential information to inform projection and scenario modeling analyses, which are crucial planning tools for governments around the world.

PUBMED; 2021.
Preprint in English | PUBMED | ID: ppcovidwho-293057


Background: To reduce the coronavirus disease burden in England, along with many other countries, the Government implemented a package of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that have also impacted other transmissible infectious diseases such as norovirus. It is unclear what future norovirus disease incidence is likely to look like upon lifting these restrictions. Methods: Here we use a mathematical model of norovirus fitted to community incidence data in England to project forward expected incidence based on contact surveys that have been collected throughout 2020-2021. Results: We report that susceptibility to norovirus infection has likely increased between March 2020 to mid-2021. Depending upon assumptions of future contact patterns incidence of norovirus that is similar to pre-pandemic levels or an increase beyond what has been previously reported is likely to occur once restrictions are lifted. Should adult contact patterns return to 80% of pre-pandemic levels the incidence of norovirus will be similar to previous years. If contact patterns return to pre-pandemic levels there is a potential for the expected annual incidence to be up to 2-fold larger than in a typical year. The age-specific incidence is similar across all ages. Conclusions: Continued national surveillance for endemic diseases such as norovirus will be essential after NPIs are lifted to allow healthcare services to adequately prepare for a potential increase in cases and hospital pressures beyond what is typically experienced.