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2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334185

ABSTRACT

Background: Tuberculosis is a leading infectious cause of death worldwide. Novel vaccines will be required to reach global targets and reverse setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic. We estimated the impact of novel tuberculosis vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), under alternative delivery scenarios. Methods: We calibrated a tuberculosis model to 105 LMICs (93% of global incidence). Vaccine scenarios were implemented as Basecase routine vaccination of 9-year-olds and a one-time vaccination campaign for ages ≥10 with country-specific introduction between 2028[ndash]2047 and 5-year scale-up to target coverage;Accelerated Scale-up as Basecase , but all countries introducing in 2025 with instant scale-up;and Routine Only as Basecase , but routine vaccination only. Vaccines protected against disease for 10-years, with 50% efficacy. Findings: The Basecase scenario reduced tuberculosis incidence (19.5% [95% uncertainty range=18.3–21.6%]) and mortality (20.6% [19.2–23.4%]) rates in 2050 and prevented 3.6 (3.3–3.9) million deaths before 2050, including 1.6 million in the WHO South-East Asian region. The Accelerated Scale-up scenario reduced tuberculosis incidence (25.2% [23.9–27.5%]), mortality (26.7% [25.2–29.9%]), and prevented 7.9 (7.3–8.5) million deaths. The Routine Only scenario reduced tuberculosis incidence (9.9% [9.0–11.6%]), mortality (9.9% [8.9–12.3%]), and prevented 1.1 (0.9–1.2) million deaths. Interpretations Novel tuberculosis vaccines could have substantial impact, which will vary depending on delivery strategy. Including a campaign will be crucial for rapid impact. Accelerated introduction similar to the pace of COVID-19 vaccines could approximately double the lives saved before 2050. Investment is required to support vaccine development, manufacturing, prompt introduction and scale-up. Funding WHO (2020/985800-0)

3.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; : 100381, 2022 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783621

ABSTRACT

Background: In settings where the COVID-19 vaccine supply is constrained, extending the intervals between the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine may allow more people receive their first doses earlier. Our aim is to estimate the health impact of COVID-19 vaccination alongside benefit-risk assessment of different dosing intervals in 13 middle-income countries (MICs) of Europe. Methods: We fitted a dynamic transmission model to country-level daily reported COVID-19 mortality in 13 MICs in Europe (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Serbia, North Macedonia, Turkey, and Ukraine). A vaccine product with characteristics similar to those of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 (AZD1222) vaccine was used in the base case scenario and was complemented by sensitivity analyses around efficacies similar to other COVID-19 vaccines. Both fixed dosing intervals at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks and dose-specific intervals that prioritise specific doses for certain age groups were tested. Optimal intervals minimise COVID-19 mortality between March 2021 and December 2022. We incorporated the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) into the model and conducted a benefit-risk assessment to quantify the tradeoff between health benefits versus adverse events following immunisation. Findings: In all countries modelled, optimal strategies are those that prioritise the first doses among older adults (60+ years) or adults (20+ years), which lead to dosing intervals longer than six months. In comparison, a four-week fixed dosing interval may incur 10.1% [range: 4.3% - 19.0%; n = 13 (countries)] more deaths. The rapid waning of the immunity induced by the first dose (i.e. with means ranging 60-120 days as opposed to 360 days in the base case) resulted in shorter optimal dosing intervals of 8-20 weeks. Benefit-risk ratios were the highest for fixed dosing intervals of 8-12 weeks. Interpretation: We infer that longer dosing intervals of over six months could reduce COVID-19 mortality in MICs of Europe. Certain parameters, such as rapid waning of first-dose induced immunity and increased immune escape through the emergence of VOCs, could significantly shorten the optimal dosing intervals. Funding: World Health Organization.

4.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 255, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753974

ABSTRACT

Background: In countries with weak surveillance systems, confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths are likely to underestimate the pandemic's death toll. Many countries also have incomplete vital registration systems, hampering excess mortality estimation. Here, we fitted a dynamic transmission model to satellite imagery data of cemeteries in Mogadishu, Somalia during 2020 to estimate the date of introduction and other epidemiologic parameters of the early spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in this low-income, crisis-affected setting. Methods: We performed Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) fitting with an age-structured compartmental COVID-19 model to provide median estimates and credible intervals for the date of introduction, the basic reproduction number ( R 0 ) and the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) up to August 2020. Results: Under the assumption that excess deaths in Mogadishu March-August 2020 were attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infections, we arrived at median estimates of November-December 2019 for the date of introduction and low R 0 estimates (1.4-1.7) reflecting the slow and early rise and long plateau of excess deaths. The date of introduction, the amount of external seeding, the infection fatality rate (IFR) and the effectiveness of NPIs are correlated parameters and not separately identifiable in a narrow range from deaths data. Nevertheless, to obtain introduction dates no earlier than November 2019 a higher population-wide IFR (≥0.7%) had to be assumed than obtained by applying age-specific IFRs from high-income countries to Somalia's age structure. Conclusions: Model fitting of excess mortality data across a range of plausible values of the IFR and the amount of external seeding suggests an early SARS-CoV-2 introduction event may have occurred in Somalia in November-December 2019. Transmissibility in the first epidemic wave was estimated to be lower than in European settings. Alternatively, there was another, unidentified source of sustained excess mortality in Mogadishu from March to August 2020.

5.
Wellcome open research ; 6, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1743757

ABSTRACT

Background: In countries with weak surveillance systems, confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths are likely to underestimate the pandemic’s death toll. Many countries also have incomplete vital registration systems, hampering excess mortality estimation. Here, we fitted a dynamic transmission model to satellite imagery data of cemeteries in Mogadishu, Somalia during 2020 to estimate the date of introduction and other epidemiologic parameters of the early spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in this low-income, crisis-affected setting. Methods: We performed Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) fitting with an age-structured compartmental COVID-19 model to provide median estimates and credible intervals for the date of introduction, the basic reproduction number ( R 0) and the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) up to August 2020. Results: Under the assumption that excess deaths in Mogadishu March-August 2020 were attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infections, we arrived at median estimates of November-December 2019 for the date of introduction and low R 0 estimates (1.4-1.7) reflecting the slow and early rise and long plateau of excess deaths. The date of introduction, the amount of external seeding, the infection fatality rate (IFR) and the effectiveness of NPIs are correlated parameters and not separately identifiable in a narrow range from deaths data. Nevertheless, to obtain introduction dates no earlier than November 2019 a higher population-wide IFR (≥0.7%) had to be assumed than obtained by applying age-specific IFRs from high-income countries to Somalia’s age structure. Conclusions: Model fitting of excess mortality data across a range of plausible values of the IFR and the amount of external seeding suggests an early SARS-CoV-2 introduction event may have occurred in Somalia in November-December 2019. Transmissibility in the first epidemic wave was estimated to be lower than in European settings. Alternatively, there was another, unidentified source of sustained excess mortality in Mogadishu from March to August 2020.

6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730660

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to quantify the unknown losses in health-related quality of life of COVID-19 cases using quality-adjusted life days (QALDs) and the recommended EQ-5D instrument in England. METHODS: Prospective cohort study of non-hospitalised, PCR-confirmed SARSCoV2(+) cases aged 12-85 years and followed up for six months from 01 December 2020, with cross-sectional comparison to SARSCoV2() controls. Main outcomes were QALD losses; physical symptoms; and COVID-19-related private expenditures. We analysed results using multivariable regressions with post-hoc weighting by age and sex, and conditional logistic regressions for the association of each symptom and EQ-5D limitation on cases and controls. RESULTS: Of 548 cases (mean age 41.1 years; 61.5% female), 16.8% reported physical symptoms at month 6 (most frequently extreme tiredness, headache, loss of taste and/or smell, and shortness of breath). Cases reported more limitations with doing usual activities than controls. Almost half of cases spent a mean of £18.1 on non-prescription drugs (median: £10.0), and 52.7% missed work or school for a mean of 12 days (median: 10). On average, all cases lost 13.7 (95%-CI: 9.7, 17.7) QALDs, while those reporting symptoms at month 6 lost 32.9 (24.5, 37.6) QALDs. Losses also increased with older age. Cumulatively, the health loss from morbidity contributes at least 18% of the total COVID-19-related disease burden in England. CONCLUSIONS: One in 6 cases report ongoing symptoms at 6 months, and 10% report prolonged loss of function compared to pre-COVID-19 baselines. A marked health burden was observed among older COVID-19 cases and those with persistent physical symptoms.

7.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(5): 657-667, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713042

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented disruption to society, which indirectly affects infectious disease dynamics. We aimed to assess the effects of COVID-19-related disruption on dengue, a major expanding acute public health threat, in southeast Asia and Latin America. METHODS: We assembled data on monthly dengue incidence from WHO weekly reports, climatic data from ERA5, and population variables from WorldPop for 23 countries between January, 2014 and December, 2019 and fit a Bayesian regression model to explain and predict seasonal and multi-year dengue cycles. We compared model predictions with reported dengue data January to December, 2020, and assessed if deviations from projected incidence since March, 2020 are associated with specific public health and social measures (from the Oxford Coronavirus Government Response Tracer database) or human movement behaviours (as measured by Google mobility reports). FINDINGS: We found a consistent, prolonged decline in dengue incidence across many dengue-endemic regions that began in March, 2020 (2·28 million cases in 2020 vs 4·08 million cases in 2019; a 44·1% decrease). We found a strong association between COVID-19-related disruption (as measured independently by public health and social measures and human movement behaviours) and reduced dengue risk, even after taking into account other drivers of dengue cycles including climatic and host immunity (relative risk 0·01-0·17, p<0·01). Measures related to the closure of schools and reduced time spent in non-residential areas had the strongest evidence of association with reduced dengue risk, but high collinearity between covariates made specific attribution challenging. Overall, we estimate that 0·72 million (95% CI 0·12-1·47) fewer dengue cases occurred in 2020 potentially attributable to COVID-19-related disruption. INTERPRETATION: In most countries, COVID-19-related disruption led to historically low dengue incidence in 2020. Continuous monitoring of dengue incidence as COVID-19-related restrictions are relaxed will be important and could give new insights into transmission processes and intervention options. FUNDING: National Key Research and Development Program of China and the Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dengue , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/epidemiology , Dengue/epidemiology , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324469

ABSTRACT

All countries are facing decisions about which groups to prioritise for COVID-19 vaccination after the first vaccine product has been licensed, at which time supply shortages are inevitable. Here we define the key target populations and their size in China for a phased introduction of COVID-19 vaccination with evolving goals, accounting for the risk of illness and transmission. Essential workers (47.2 million) like healthcare workers could be prioritized for vaccination to maintain essential services. Subsequently, older adults, individuals with underlying health conditions and pregnant women (616.0 million) could be targeted to reduce severe COVID-19 outcomes. Then it could be further extended to target adults without underlying health conditions and children (738.7 million) to reduce symptomatic infections and/or to stop virus transmission. The proposed framework could assist Chinese policy-makers in the design of a vaccination program, and could be generalized to inform other national and regional COVID-19 vaccination strategies.

10.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323243

ABSTRACT

Covid-19 requires policy makers to consider evidence on both population health and economic welfare. Over the last two decades, the field of health economics has developed a range of analytical approaches and contributed to the institutionalisation of processes to employ economic evidence in health policy. We present a discussion outlining how these approaches and processes need to be applied more widely to inform Covid-19 policy;highlighting where they may need to be adapted conceptually and methodologically, and providing examples of work to date. We focus on the evidential and policy needs of low- and middle-income countries;where there is an urgent need for evidence to navigate the policy trade-offs between health and economic well-being posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322338

ABSTRACT

Background: Policy makers need to be rapidly informed about the potential equity consequences of different COVID-19 strategies, alongside their broader health and economic impacts. While there are complex models to inform both potential health and macro-economic impact, there are few tools available to rapidly assess potential equity impacts of interventions.Methods: We created an economic model to simulate the impact of lockdown measures in Pakistan, Georgia, Chile, United Kingdom, Philippines, and South Africa. We consider impact of lockdown in terms of inability to socially distance, and income loss during lockdown, and tested the impact of assumptions on social protection coverage in a scenario analysis.Findings: In all examined countries, lower socioeconomic quintiles were likely to experience disproportionately more income loss and greater inability to socially distance during lockdown. Improving social protection increased the percentage of the workforce able to socially distance from 40% (30% Chile - 55% UK) to 60% (57% Chile - 67% UK). We estimate the cost of this social protection would be equivalent to an average of 0.5% GDP.Interpretation: We illustrate the potential for using publicly available data to rapidly assess the equity implications of social protection and non-pharmaceutical intervention policy. We highlight potential for social protection to mitigate inequitable health and economic impacts of lockdown. Although social protection is usually targeted to the poorest, middle quintiles will likely also need support as they suffer the worst income losses and are disproportionately more exposed.Funding: This work was supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Wellcome [grant number 221303/Z/20/Z].Declaration of Interests: We declare no competing interests.

12.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315690

ABSTRACT

Background: Countries achieving control of COVID-19 after an initial outbreak will continue to face the risk of SARS-CoV-2 resurgence. This study explores surveillance strategies for COVID-19 containment based on polymerase chain reaction tests. Methods: Using a dynamic SEIR-type model to simulate the initial dynamics of a COVID-19 introduction, we investigate COVID-19 surveillance strategies among healthcare workers, hospital patients, and community members. We estimate surveillance sensitivity as the probability of COVID-19 detection using a hypergeometric sampling process. We identify test allocation strategies that maximise the probability of COVID-19 detection across different testing capacities. We use Beijing, China as a case study. Results: Surveillance subgroups are more sensitive in detecting COVID-19 transmission when they are defined by more COVID-19-specific symptoms. In this study, fever clinics have the highest surveillance sensitivity, followed by respiratory departments. With a daily testing rate of 0.07/1000 residents, via exclusively testing at fever clinic and respiratory departments, there would have been 598 [95% eCI: 35, 2154] and 1373 [95% eCI: 47, 5230] cases in the population by the time of first case detection, respectively. Outbreak detection can occur earlier by including non-syndromic subgroups, such as younger adults in the community, as more testing capacity becomes available. Conclusions: A multi-layer approach that considers both the surveillance sensitivity and administrative constraints can help identify the optimal allocation of testing resources and thus inform COVID-19 surveillance strategies.

13.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328364

ABSTRACT

Background: In countries with weak surveillance systems, confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths are likely to underestimate the pandemic’s death toll. Many countries also have incomplete vital registration systems, hampering excess mortality estimation. Here, we fitted a dynamic transmission model to satellite imagery data of cemeteries in Mogadishu, Somalia during 2020 to estimate the date of introduction and other epidemiologic parameters of the early spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in this low-income, crisis-affected setting. Methods: : We performed Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) fitting with an age-structured compartmental COVID-19 model to provide median estimates and credible intervals for the date of introduction, the basic reproduction number ( R 0 ) and the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) up to August 2020. Results: : Under the assumption that excess deaths in Mogadishu March-August 2020 were attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infections, we arrived at median estimates of November-December 2019 for the date of introduction and low R 0 estimates (1.4-1.7) reflecting the slow and early rise and long plateau of excess deaths. The date of introduction, the amount of external seeding, the infection fatality rate (IFR) and the effectiveness of NPIs are correlated parameters and not separately identifiable in a narrow range from deaths data. Nevertheless, to obtain introduction dates no earlier than November 2019 a higher population-wide IFR (≥0.7%) had to be assumed than obtained by applying age-specific IFRs from high-income countries to Somalia’s age structure. Conclusions: : Model fitting of excess mortality data across a range of plausible values of the IFR and the amount of external seeding suggests an early SARS-CoV-2 introduction event may have occurred in Somalia in November-December 2019. Transmissibility in the first epidemic wave was estimated to be lower than in European settings. Alternatively, there was another, unidentified source of sustained excess mortality in Mogadishu from March to August 2020.

14.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 21: 100389, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In view of emerging variants of concern (VOCs), we aimed to evaluate the impact of various allocation strategies of COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral such that the pandemic exit strategy could be tailored to risks and preferences of jurisdictions in the East Asia and Pacific region (EAP) to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. METHODS: Vaccine efficacies were estimated from the titre distributions of 50% plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT50), assuming that PRNT50 titres of primary vaccination decreased by 2-10 folds due to antibody waning and emergence of VOCs, and an additional dose of vaccine would increase PRNT50 titres by 3- or 9-fold. We then used an existing SARS-CoV-2 transmission model to assess the outcomes of vaccine allocation strategies with and without the use of antivirals for symptomatic patients in Japan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. FINDINGS: Increasing primary vaccination coverage was the most important contributing factor in reducing the total and peak number of COVID-19 hospitalisations, especially when population vaccine coverage or vaccine uptake among older adults was low. Providing antivirals to 50% of symptomatic infections only further reduced total and peak hospitalisations by 10-13%. The effectiveness of an additional dose of vaccine was highly dependent on the immune escape potential of VOCs and antibody waning, but less dependent on the boosting efficacy of the additional dose. INTERPRETATION: Increasing primary vaccination coverage should be prioritised in the design of allocation strategies of COVID-19 vaccines and antivirals against emerging VOCs, such as Omicron, in the EAP region. Heterologous vaccination with any available vaccine as the additional dose could be considered when planning pandemic exit strategies tailored to the circumstances of EAP jurisdictions. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund, General Research Fund, AIR@InnoHK.

16.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296765

ABSTRACT

Introduction COVID-19 related non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) led to a suppression of RSV circulation in winter 2020/21 throughout Europe and an off-season resurgence in Summer 2021 in several European countries. We explore how such temporary interruption may shape future RSV epidemiology and what factors drive the associated uncertainty. Methods We developed an age-structured dynamic transmission model to simulate pre-pandemic RSV infections and hospitalisations. We sampled parameters governing RSV seasonality, immunity acquisition and duration of post-infection immunity and retained those simulations that qualitatively fit the UK’s pre-pandemic epidemiology. From Spring 2020 to Summer 2021 we assumed a 50% reduced contact frequency, returning to pre-pandemic levels from mid-May 2021. We simulated transmission forwards until 2023 and evaluated the impact of the sampled parameters on the projected trajectories of RSV hospitalisations. Results Following a lifting of contact restrictions in summer 2021 the model replicated an out-of-season resurgence of RSV. If unmitigated, paediatric RSV hospitalisation incidence in the 2021/22 season was projected to increase by 32% to 67% compared to pre-pandemic levels. The size of the increase depended most on whether infection risk was primarily determined by immunity acquired from previous exposure or general immune maturation. While infants were less affected, the increase in seasonal hospitalisation incidence exceeded 100% in 1-2 year old children and 275% in 2-5 year old children, respectively, in some simulations where immunity from previous exposure dominated. Consequently, the average age of a case increased by 1 to 5 months, most markedly if there was strong immunity acquisition from previous exposure. If immunity to infection was largely determined by age rather than previous exposure, the 2021/22 season started earlier and lasted longer but with a peak incidence lower or similar to pre-pandemic levels. For subsequent seasons, simulations suggested a quick return to pre-pandemic epidemiology, with some slight oscillating behaviour possible depending on the strength of post-exposure immunity. Conclusion COVID-19 mitigation measures stopped RSV circulation in the 2020/21 season and generated immunity debt that will likely lead to a temporary increase in RSV burden in the season following the lifting of restrictions, particularly in 1 to 5 year old children. A more accurate understanding of immunity drivers for RSV is needed to better predict the size of such an increase and plan a potential expansion of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical mitigation measures.

17.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296531

ABSTRACT

The Omicron B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 variant was first detected in late November 2021 and has since spread to multiple countries worldwide. We model the potential consequences of the Omicron variant on SARS-CoV-2 transmission and health outcomes in England between December 2021 and April 2022, using a deterministic compartmental model fitted to epidemiological data from March 2020 onwards. Because of uncertainty around the characteristics of Omicron, we explore scenarios varying the extent of Omicron's immune escape and the effectiveness of COVID-19 booster vaccinations against Omicron, assuming the level of Omicron's transmissibility relative to Delta to match the growth in observed S gene target failure data in England. We consider strategies for the re-introduction of control measures in response to projected surges in transmission, as well as scenarios varying the uptake and speed of COVID-19 booster vaccinations and the rate of Omicron's introduction into the population. These results suggest that Omicron has the potential to cause substantial surges in cases, hospital admissions and deaths in populations with high levels of immunity, including England. The reintroduction of additional non-pharmaceutical interventions may be required to prevent hospital admissions exceeding the levels seen in England during the previous peak in winter 2020-2021.

18.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 198, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571757

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of immunisation services globally. Many countries have postponed vaccination campaigns out of concern about infection risks to the staff delivering vaccination, the children being vaccinated, and their families. The World Health Organization recommends considering both the benefit of preventive campaigns and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission when making decisions about campaigns during COVID-19 outbreaks, but there has been little quantification of the risks. METHODS: We modelled excess SARS-CoV-2 infection risk to vaccinators, vaccinees, and their caregivers resulting from vaccination campaigns delivered during a COVID-19 epidemic. Our model used population age structure and contact patterns from three exemplar countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Brazil). It combined an existing compartmental transmission model of an underlying COVID-19 epidemic with a Reed-Frost model of SARS-CoV-2 infection risk to vaccinators and vaccinees. We explored how excess risk depends on key parameters governing SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility, and aspects of campaign delivery such as campaign duration, number of vaccinations, and effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) and symptomatic screening. RESULTS: Infection risks differ considerably depending on the circumstances in which vaccination campaigns are conducted. A campaign conducted at the peak of a SARS-CoV-2 epidemic with high prevalence and without special infection mitigation measures could increase absolute infection risk by 32 to 45% for vaccinators and 0.3 to 0.5% for vaccinees and caregivers. However, these risks could be reduced to 3.6 to 5.3% and 0.1 to 0.2% respectively by use of PPE that reduces transmission by 90% (as might be achieved with N95 respirators or high-quality surgical masks) and symptomatic screening. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection risks to vaccinators, vaccinees, and caregivers during vaccination campaigns can be greatly reduced by adequate PPE, symptomatic screening, and appropriate campaign timing. Our results support the use of adequate risk mitigation measures for vaccination campaigns held during SARS-CoV-2 epidemics, rather than cancelling them entirely.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Brazil , Burkina Faso , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Ethiopia , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment
19.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295186

ABSTRACT

Background: In countries with weak surveillance systems, confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths are likely to underestimate the pandemic’s death toll. Many countries also have incomplete vital registration systems, hampering excess mortality estimation. Here, we fitted a dynamic transmission model to satellite imagery data of cemeteries in Mogadishu, Somalia during 2020 to estimate the date of introduction and other epidemiologic parameters of the early spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in this low-income, crisis-affected setting. Methods: We performed Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) fitting with an age-structured compartmental COVID-19 model to provide median estimates and credible intervals for the date of introduction, the basic reproduction number ( R 0 ) and the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) up to August 2020. Results: Under the assumption that excess deaths in Mogadishu March-August 2020 were attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infections, we arrived at median estimates of November-December 2019 for the date of introduction and low R 0 estimates (1.4-1.7) reflecting the slow and early rise and long plateau of excess deaths. The date of introduction, the amount of external seeding, the infection fatality rate (IFR) and the effectiveness of NPIs are correlated parameters and not separately identifiable in a narrow range from deaths data. Nevertheless, to obtain introduction dates no earlier than November 2019 a higher population-wide IFR (≥0.7%) had to be assumed than obtained by applying age-specific IFRs from high-income countries to Somalia’s age structure. Conclusions: Model fitting of excess mortality data across a range of plausible values of the IFR and the amount of external seeding suggests an early SARS-CoV-2 introduction event may have occurred in Somalia in November-December 2019. Transmissibility in the first epidemic wave was estimated to be lower than in European settings. Alternatively, there was another, unidentified source of sustained excess mortality in Mogadishu from March to August 2020.

20.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294303

ABSTRACT

Forecasts based on epidemiological modelling have played an important role in shaping public policy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This modelling combines knowledge about infectious disease dynamics with the subjective opinion of the researcher who develops and refines the model and often also adjusts model outputs. Developing a forecast model is difficult, resource- and time-consuming. It is therefore worth asking what modelling is able to add beyond the subjective opinion of the researcher alone. To investigate this, we analysed different real-time forecasts of cases of and deaths from COVID-19 in Germany and Poland over a 1-4 week horizon submitted to the German and Polish Forecast Hub. We compared crowd forecasts elicited from researchers and volunteers, against a) forecasts from two semi-mechanistic models based on common epidemiological assumptions and b) the ensemble of all other models submitted to the Forecast Hub. We found crowd forecasts, despite being overconfident, to outperform all other methods across all forecast horizons when forecasting cases (weighted interval score relative to the Hub ensemble 2 weeks ahead: 0.89). Forecasts based on computational models performed comparably better when predicting deaths (rel. WIS 1.26), suggesting that epidemiological modelling and human judgement can complement each other in important ways.

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