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1.
The Lancet ; 400(10369):2166-2168, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2159953
2.
Vaccine ; 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2086814

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Polarized debates about Covid-19 vaccination and vaccine mandates for healthcare workers (HCWs) challenge Belgian HCWs ability to discuss Covid-19 vaccine sentiments with peers and patients.Although studies have identified drivers of HCWs vaccine hesitancy, they do not include effects of workplace interactions and have not addressed consequences beyond vaccine coverage. METHODS: Interviews and focus group discussions with 74 HCWs practicing in Belgium addressed Covid-19 vaccine sentiments and experiences of discussing vaccination with peers and patients. RESULTS: Most participating HCWs reported difficulties discussing Covid-19 vaccination with peers and patients. Unvaccinated HCWs often feared that expressing their vaccine sentiments might upset patients or peers and that they would be suspended. Consequently, they used social cues to evaluate others' openness to vaccine-skeptical discourses and avoided discussing vaccines. Surprisingly, some vaccine-confident HCWs hid their vaccine sentiments to avoid peer and patient conflicts. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated HCWs observed that unvaccinated patients occasionally received suboptimal care. Suboptimal care was central in unvaccinated HCW unwillingness to express their vaccine sentiments to peers. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated HCWs described loss of trust and ruptured social relations with peers and patients holding divergent vaccine sentiments. DISCUSSION: Belgian HCW perceived Covid-19 vaccines as a risky discussion topic and engaged in "strategic silences" around vaccination to maintain functional work relationships and employment in health institutions. Loss of trust between HCW and peers or patients, along with suboptimal patient care based on vaccination status, threaten to weaken Belgium's, and by implication, other health systems, and to catalyze preventable disease outbreaks.

3.
Health Place ; 77: 102846, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1905566

ABSTRACT

This postscript reflects on this special issue's contributions for readers preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic. First, these articles on African environment and health underscore that past process of and interventions into land use and human health have cumulative effects on disease emergence and re-emergence. Relatedly, although multiple epidemics have affected the African continent and other parts of the world over the past century, global health institutions and actors have sidelined or forgotten these epidemics. These analyses draw our attention to the historical production and mobilization of specific concepts which frame what questions are asked, how they are answered, and the material solutions provided or withheld. And finally, these pieces highlight the ethical stakes of agricultural, conservation, and health interventions, reminding us that the African continent's histories are fraught with inequities from colonial and postcolonial extractive relations and racist assumptions that have undermined livelihoods, food security and health. As African states, institutions, and global health critics politick for vaccine equity and deplore the inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in African countries compared to the rest of the world, these articles remind us that these long-standing inequities should catalyze fundamental change.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Agriculture , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Global Health , Humans
4.
Vaccine ; 40(9): 1191-1197, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757898

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has offered a powerful preventive measure to help control SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Nevertheless, long-standing public hesitation around vaccines heightened concerns that vaccine coverage would not achieve desired public health impacts, particularly in light of more contagious variants. This cross-sectional survey was conducted online just before the European vaccine rollout in December 2020 among 7000 respondents (aged 18-65) in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Ukraine. The survey included open text boxes for fuller explanation of responses. Overall, 56.9% of respondents would accept a COVID-19 vaccine, 19.0% would not, and 24.1% did not know or preferred not to say. By country, between 44% (France) and 66% (Italy) of respondents would accept a COVID-19 vaccine. Respondents expressed conditionality in open responses, voicing concerns about vaccine safety and mistrust of authorities. We highlight lessons learned about the dynamism of vaccine conditionality and persistence of safety concerns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Young Adult
5.
JMIR Infodemiology ; 1(1): e27472, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has been widely described as an infodemic, an excess of rapidly circulating information in social and traditional media in which some information may be erroneous, contradictory, or inaccurate. One key theme cutting across many infodemic analyses is that it stymies users' capacities to identify appropriate information and guidelines, encourages them to take inappropriate or even harmful actions, and should be managed through multiple transdisciplinary approaches. Yet, investigations demonstrating how the COVID-19 information ecosystem influences complex public decision making and behavior offline are relatively few. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate whether information reported through the social media channel Twitter, linked articles and websites, and selected traditional media affected the risk perception, engagement in field activities, and protective behaviors of French Red Cross (FRC) volunteers and health workers in the Paris region of France from June to October 2020. METHODS: We used a hybrid approach that blended online and offline data. We tracked daily Twitter discussions and selected traditional media in France for 7 months, qualitatively evaluating COVID-19 claims and debates about nonpharmaceutical protective measures. We conducted 24 semistructured interviews with FRC workers and volunteers. RESULTS: Social and traditional media debates about viral risks and nonpharmaceutical interventions fanned anxieties among FRC volunteers and workers. Decisions to continue conducting FRC field activities and daily protective practices were also influenced by other factors unrelated to the infodemic: familial and social obligations, gender expectations, financial pressures, FRC rules and communications, state regulations, and relationships with coworkers. Some respondents developed strategies for "tuning out" social and traditional media. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the information ecosystem may be just one among multiple influences on one group's offline perceptions and behavior. Measures to address users who have disengaged from online sources of health information and who rely on social relationships to obtain information are needed. Tuning out can potentially lead to less informed decision making, leading to worse health outcomes.

6.
Soc Sci Med ; 284: 114246, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1321472

ABSTRACT

The global response to infectious diseases has seen a renewed interest in the use of community engagement to support research and relief efforts. From a perspective rooted in the social sciences, the concept of vulnerability offers an especially useful analytical frame for pursuing community engagement in a variety of contexts. However, few have closely examined the concept of vulnerability in community engagement efforts, leading to a need to better understand the various theories that underline the connections between the two. This literature review searched four databases (covering a total of 537 papers), resulting in 15 studies that analyze community engagement using a framing of vulnerability, broadly defined, in the context of an infectious disease, prioritizing historical and structural context and the many ways of constituting communities. The review identified historical and structural factors such as trust in the health system, history of political marginalization, various forms of racism and discrimination, and other aspects of vulnerability that are part and parcel of the main challenges faced by communities. The review found that studies using vulnerability within community engagement share some important characteristics (e.g., focus on local history and structural factors) and identified a few theoretical avenues from the social sciences which integrate a vulnerability-informed approach in community engagement. Finally, the review proposes an approach that brings together the concepts of vulnerability and community engagement, prioritizing participation, empowerment, and intersectoral collaboration.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases , Racism , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Community Participation , Government Programs , Humans , Medical Assistance , Trust
7.
Nat Hum Behav ; 5(7): 834-846, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286458

ABSTRACT

Social and behavioural factors are critical to the emergence, spread and containment of human disease, and are key determinants of the course, duration and outcomes of disease outbreaks. Recent epidemics of Ebola in West Africa and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) globally have reinforced the importance of developing infectious disease models that better integrate social and behavioural dynamics and theories. Meanwhile, the growth in capacity, coordination and prioritization of social science research and of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) practice within the current pandemic response provides an opportunity for collaboration among epidemiological modellers, social scientists and RCCE practitioners towards a mutually beneficial research and practice agenda. Here, we provide a review of the current modelling methodologies and describe the challenges and opportunities for integrating them with social science research and RCCE practice. Finally, we set out an agenda for advancing transdisciplinary collaboration for integrated disease modelling and for more robust policy and practice for reducing disease transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Primary Prevention/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , Developing Countries , Health Policy , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans
9.
BMJ Open ; 11(1): e042579, 2021 01 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1050400

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Voluntary organisations provide essential support to vulnerable populations and front-line health responders to the COVID-19 pandemic. The French Red Cross (FRC) is prominent among organisations offering health and support services in the current crisis. Comprised primarily of lay volunteers and some trained health workers, FRC volunteers in the Paris (France) region have faced challenges in adapting to pandemic conditions, working with sick and vulnerable populations, managing limited resources and coping with high demand for their services. Existing studies of volunteers focus on individual, social and organisational determinants of motivation, but attend less to contextual ones. Public health incertitude about the COVID-19 pandemic is an important feature of this pandemic. Whether and how uncertainty interacts with volunteer understandings and experiences of their work and organisational relations to contribute to Red Cross worker motivation is the focus of this investigation. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This mixed-methods study will investigate volunteer motivation using ethnographic methods and social network listening. Semi-structured interviews and observations will illuminate FRC volunteer work relations, experiences and concerns during the pandemic. A questionnaire targeting a sample of Paris region volunteers will allow quantification of motivation. These findings will iteratively shape and be influenced by a social media (Twitter) analysis of biomedical and public health uncertainties and debates around COVID-19. These tweets provide insight into a French lay public's interpretations of these debates. We evaluate whether and how socio-political conditions and discourses concerning COVID-19 interact with volunteer experiences, working conditions and organisational relations to influence volunteer motivation. Data collection began on 15 June 2020 and will continue until 15 April 2021. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol has received ethical approval from the Institut Pasteur Institutional Review Board (no 2020-03). We will disseminate findings through peer-reviewed articles, conference presentations and recommendations to the FRC.


Subject(s)
Community Health Services/organization & administration , Motivation , Red Cross , Volunteers/psychology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , France , Humans , Public Health , Qualitative Research , Research Design , Social Media
10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(6)2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039673

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to affect the human microbiome in infected and uninfected individuals, having a substantial impact on human health over the long term. This pandemic intersects with a decades-long decline in microbial diversity and ancestral microbes due to hygiene, antibiotics, and urban living (the hygiene hypothesis). High-risk groups succumbing to COVID-19 include those with preexisting conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, which are also associated with microbiome abnormalities. Current pandemic control measures and practices will have broad, uneven, and potentially long-term effects for the human microbiome across the planet, given the implementation of physical separation, extensive hygiene, travel barriers, and other measures that influence overall microbial loss and inability for reinoculation. Although much remains uncertain or unknown about the virus and its consequences, implementing pandemic control practices could significantly affect the microbiome. In this Perspective, we explore many facets of COVID-19-induced societal changes and their possible effects on the microbiome, and discuss current and future challenges regarding the interplay between this pandemic and the microbiome. Recent recognition of the microbiome's influence on human health makes it critical to consider both how the microbiome, shaped by biosocial processes, affects susceptibility to the coronavirus and, conversely, how COVID-19 disease and prevention measures may affect the microbiome. This knowledge may prove key in prevention and treatment, and long-term biological and social outcomes of this pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Hygiene Hypothesis , Microbiota , Aged , Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/mortality , Eating , Female , Humans , Infant , Infection Control/methods , Male , Microbiota/drug effects , Physical Distancing , Pregnancy
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