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1.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases ; 2023.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2165390

ABSTRACT

Objectives Investigate risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infections in schools students and staff. Methods In the 2020/2021 schoolyear, we administered PCR, antibody tests and questionnaires to a sample of primary and secondary schools students and staff, with data linkage to COVID-19 surveillance. We fitted logistic regression models to identify factors associated with infection. Results We included 6799 students and 5090 staff in the autumn and 11952 students and 4569 staff in the spring/summer terms. Infections in students in autumn 2020 were related to the percentage of students eligible for free school meals. We found no statistical association between infection risk in primary and secondary schools and reported contact patterns between students and staff in either time period in our study. Using public transports was associated with increased risk in the autumn in students (aOR=1.72 (95%CI 1.31 to 2.25) and staff. One or more infections in the same household during either period was the strongest risk factor for infection in students, and more so among staff. Interpretation Deprivation, community and household factors were more strongly associated with infection than contacts patterns at school;this suggests the additional school-based mitigation measures in England's in 2020/21 likely helped reduce transmission risk in schools.

2.
BMC Med ; 20(1): 465, 2022 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2139296

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To update and internally validate a model to predict children and young people (CYP) most likely to experience long COVID (i.e. at least one impairing symptom) 3 months after SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing and to determine whether the impact of predictors differed by SARS-CoV-2 status. METHODS: Data from a nationally matched cohort of SARS-CoV-2 test-positive and test-negative CYP aged 11-17 years was used. The main outcome measure, long COVID, was defined as one or more impairing symptoms 3 months after PCR testing. Potential pre-specified predictors included SARS-CoV-2 status, sex, age, ethnicity, deprivation, quality of life/functioning (five EQ-5D-Y items), physical and mental health and loneliness (prior to testing) and number of symptoms at testing. The model was developed using logistic regression; performance was assessed using calibration and discrimination measures; internal validation was performed via bootstrapping and the final model was adjusted for overfitting. RESULTS: A total of 7139 (3246 test-positives, 3893 test-negatives) completing a questionnaire 3 months post-test were included. 25.2% (817/3246) of SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positives and 18.5% (719/3893) of SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negatives had one or more impairing symptoms 3 months post-test. The final model contained SARS-CoV-2 status, number of symptoms at testing, sex, age, ethnicity, physical and mental health, loneliness and four EQ-5D-Y items before testing. Internal validation showed minimal overfitting with excellent calibration and discrimination measures (optimism-adjusted calibration slope: 0.96575; C-statistic: 0.83130). CONCLUSIONS: We updated a risk prediction equation to identify those most at risk of long COVID 3 months after a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test which could serve as a useful triage and management tool for CYP during the ongoing pandemic. External validation is required before large-scale implementation.

3.
N Engl J Med ; 387(20): 1911, 2022 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2126650

Subject(s)
Vaccination , Child , Humans
4.
Journal of School Health ; : 1, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-2137074

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND METHODS RESULTS CONCLUSIONS We examined fidelity and feasibility of implementation of COVID‐19 preventive measures in schools, and explored associations between adherence to these measures and staff well‐being, to inform policy on sustainable implementation and staff wellbeing.Surveys were conducted across 128 schools in England with 107 headteachers and 2698 staff‐members with reference to autumn term 2020, examining school‐level implementation of preventive measures, adherence, and teacher burnout (response rates for headteacher and staff surveys were 84% and 59%, respectively).The median number of measures implemented in primary and secondary schools was 33 (range 23‐41), and 32 (range 22‐40), respectively;most measures presented challenges. No differences were found regarding number of measures implemented by school‐level socio‐economic disadvantage. High adherence was reported for staff wearing face‐coverings, staff regularly washing their hands, (secondary only) desks facing forwards, and (primary only) increased cleaning of surfaces and student hand‐washing. Adherence to most measures was reported as higher in primary than secondary schools. Over half of school leaders and 42% (517/1234) of other teaching staff suffered from high emotional exhaustion. Higher teacher‐reported school‐wide adherence with measures was consistently associated with lower burnout for leaders and other teaching staff.Findings indicate a tremendous effort in implementing preventive measures and an urgent need to support investments in improving teacher wellbeing. [ FROM AUTHOR]

5.
The Lancet Regional Health - Europe ; : 100554, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2131785

ABSTRACT

Summary Background Despite high numbers of children and young people (CYP) having acute COVID, there has been no prospective follow-up of CYP to establish the pattern of health and well-being over a year following infection. Methods A non-hospitalised, national sample of 5086 (2909 SARS-COV-2 Positive;2177 SARS-COV-2 Negative at baseline) CYP aged 11–17 completed questionnaires 6- and 12-months after PCR-tests between October 2020 and March 2021 confirming SARS-CoV-2 infection (excluding CYP with subsequent (re)infections). SARS-COV-2 Positive CYP was compared to age, sex and geographically-matched test-negative CYP. Findings Ten of 21 symptoms had a prevalence less than 10% at baseline, 6- and 12-months post-test in both test-positives and test-negatives. Of the other 11 symptoms, in test-positives who had these at baseline, the prevalence of all symptoms declined greatly by 12-months. For CYP first describing one of these at 6-months, there was a decline in prevalence by 12-months. The overall prevalence of 9 of 11 symptoms declined by 12-months. As many CYP first described shortness of breath and tiredness at either 6- or 12-months, the overall prevalence of these two symptoms in test-positives appeared to increase by 6-months and increase further by 12-months. However, within-individual examination demonstrated that the prevalence of shortness of breath and tiredness actually declined in those first describing these two symptoms at either baseline or 6-months. This pattern was also evident for these two symptoms in test-negatives. Similar patterns were observed for validated measures of poor quality of life, emotional and behavioural difficulties, poor well-being and fatigue. Moreover, broadly similar patterns and results were noted for the sub-sample (N = 1808) that had data at baseline, 3-, 6- and 12-months post-test. Interpretation In CYP, the prevalence of adverse symptoms reported at the time of a positive PCR-test declined over 12-months. Some test-positives and test-negatives reported adverse symptoms for the first time at six- and 12-months post-test, particularly tiredness, shortness of breath, poor quality of life, poor well-being and fatigue suggesting they are likely to be caused by multiple factors. Funding NIHR/UKRI (ref: COVLT0022).

6.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 2022 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2122907

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known about protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection following previous infection with specific individual SARS-CoV-2 variants, COVID-19 vaccination, and a combination of previous infection and vaccination (hybrid immunity) in adolescents. We aimed to estimate protection against symptomatic PCR-confirmed infection with the delta (B.1.617.2) and omicron (B.1.1.529) variants in adolescents with previous infection, mRNA vaccination, and hybrid immunity. METHODS: We conducted an observational, test-negative, case-control study using national SARS-CoV-2 testing and COVID-19 mRNA vaccination data in England. Symptomatic adolescents aged 12-17 years who were unvaccinated or had received primary BNT162b2 immunisation at symptom onset and had a community SARS-CoV-2 PCR test were included. Vaccination and previous SARS-CoV-2 infection status in adolescents with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 (cases) were compared with vaccination and previous infection status in adolescents who had a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test (controls). Vaccination data were collected from the National Immunisation Management System, and were linked to PCR testing data. The primary outcome was protection against SARS-CoV-2 delta and omicron infection (defined as 1 - odds of vaccination or previous infection in cases divided by odds of vaccination or previous infection in controls). FINDINGS: Between Aug 9, 2021, and March 31, 2022, 1 161 704 SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests were linked to COVID-19 vaccination status, including 390 467 positive tests with the delta variant and 212 433 positive tests with the omicron variants BA.1 and BA.2. In unvaccinated adolescents, previous SARS-CoV-2 infection with wildtype, alpha (B.1.1.7), or delta strains provided greater protection against subsequent delta infection (>86·1%) than against subsequent omicron infection (<52·4%); previous delta or omicron infection provided similar protection against omicron reinfection (52·4% [95% CI 50·9-53·8] vs 59·3% [46·7-69·0]). In adolescents with no previous infection, vaccination provided lower protection against omicron infection than against delta infection, with omicron protection peaking at 64·5% (95% CI 63·6-65·4) at 2-14 weeks after dose two and 62·9% (60·5-65·1) at 2-14 weeks after dose three, with waning protection after each dose. Adolescents with hybrid immunity from previous infection and vaccination had the highest protection, irrespective of the SARS-CoV-2 strain in the primary infection. The highest protection against omicron infection was observed in adolescents with vaccination and previous omicron infection, reaching 96·4% (95% CI 84·4-99·1) at 15-24 weeks after vaccine dose two. INTERPRETATION: Previous infection with any SARS-CoV-2 variant provided some protection against symptomatic reinfection, and vaccination added to this protection. Vaccination provides low-to-moderate protection against symptomatic omicron infection, with waning protection after each dose, while hybrid immunity provided the most robust protection. Although more data are needed to investigate longer-term protection and protection against infection with new variants, these data question the need for additional booster vaccine doses for adolescents in populations with already high protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection. FUNDING: None.

7.
PLoS Med ; 19(11): e1004118, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109278

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths are rare in children and young people (CYP). The high rates of asymptomatic and mild infections complicate assessment of cause of death in CYP. We assessed the cause of death in all CYP with a positive Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test since the start of the pandemic in England. METHODS AND FINDINGS: CYP aged <20 years who died within 100 days of laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between 01 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 in England were followed up in detail, using national databases, surveillance questionnaires, post-mortem reports, and clinician interviews. There were 185 deaths during the 22-month follow-up and 81 (43.8%) were due to COVID-19. Compared to non-COVID-19 deaths in CYP with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, death due to COVID-19 was independently associated with older age (aOR 1.06 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01 to 1.11, p = 0.02) and underlying comorbidities (aOR 2.52 95% CI 1.27 to 5.01, p = 0.008), after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity group, and underlying conditions, with a shorter interval between SARS-CoV-2 testing and death. Half the COVID-19 deaths (41/81, 50.6%) occurred within 7 days of confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 91% (74/81) within 30 days. Of the COVID-19 deaths, 61 (75.3%) had an underlying condition, especially severe neurodisability (n = 27) and immunocompromising conditions (n = 12). Over the 22-month surveillance period, SARS-CoV-2 was responsible for 1.2% (81/6,790) of all deaths in CYP aged <20 years, with an infection fatality rate of 0.70/100,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections in this age group estimated through real-time, nowcasting modelling, and a mortality rate of 0.61/100,000. Limitations include possible under-ascertainment of deaths in CYP who were not tested for SARS-CoV-2 and lack of direct access to clinical data for hospitalised CYP. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 deaths remain extremely rare in CYP, with most fatalities occurring within 30 days of infection and in children with specific underlying conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Humans , Adolescent , Child, Preschool , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Prospective Studies , England/epidemiology
9.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0262515, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1688746

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the full re-opening of schools in England and emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant, we investigated the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in students and staff who were contacts of a confirmed case in a school bubble (school groupings with limited interactions), along with their household members. METHODS: Primary and secondary school bubbles were recruited into sKIDsBUBBLE after being sent home to self-isolate following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the bubble. Bubble participants and their household members were sent home-testing kits comprising nasal swabs for RT-PCR testing and whole genome sequencing, and oral fluid swabs for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. RESULTS: During November-December 2020, 14 bubbles were recruited from 7 schools, including 269 bubble contacts (248 students, 21 staff) and 823 household contacts (524 adults, 299 children). The secondary attack rate was 10.0% (6/60) in primary and 3.9% (4/102) in secondary school students, compared to 6.3% (1/16) and 0% (0/1) among staff, respectively. The incidence rate for household contacts of primary school students was 6.6% (12/183) and 3.7% (1/27) for household contacts of primary school staff. In secondary schools, this was 3.5% (11/317) and 0% (0/1), respectively. Household contacts were more likely to test positive if their bubble contact tested positive although there were new infections among household contacts of uninfected bubble contacts. INTERPRETATION: Compared to other institutional settings, the overall risk of secondary infection in school bubbles and their household contacts was low. Our findings are important for developing evidence-based infection prevention guidelines for educational settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/virology , Child , Contact Tracing , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Nasopharynx/virology , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Students/statistics & numerical data
11.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1845, 2022 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053889

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In England, the emergence the more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variant Alpha (B.1.1.7) led to a third national lockdown from December 2020, including restricted attendance at schools. Nurseries, however, remained fully open. COVID-19 outbreaks (≥ 2 laboratory-confirmed cases within 14 days) in nurseries were investigated to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and cumulative incidence in staff and children over a three-month period when community SARS-CoV-2 infections rates were high and the Alpha variant was spreading rapidly across England. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional national investigation of COVID-19 outbreaks in nurseries across England. Nurseries reporting a COVID-19 outbreak to PHE between November 2020 and January 2021 were requested to complete a questionnaire about their outbreak. RESULTS: Three hundred and twenty-four nurseries, comprising 1% (324/32,852) of nurseries in England, reported a COVID-19 outbreak. Of the 315 (97%) nurseries contacted, 173 (55%) reported 1,657 SARS-CoV-2 cases, including 510 (31%) children and 1,147 (69%) staff. A child was the index case in 45 outbreaks (26%) and staff in 125 (72%) outbreaks. Overall, children had an incidence rate of 3.50% (95%CI, 3.21-3.81%) and was similar irrespective of whether the index case was a child (3.55%; 95%CI, 3.01-4.19%) or staff (3.44%; 95%CI, 3.10-3.82%). Among staff, cumulative incidence was lower if the index case was a child (26.28%; 95%CI, 23.54-29.21%%) compared to a staff member (32.98%; 95%CI, 31.19-34.82%), with the highest cumulative incidence when the index case was also a staff member (37.52%; 95%CI, 35.39-39.70%). Compared to November 2020, outbreak sizes and cumulative incidence was higher in January 2021, when the Alpha variant predominated. Nationally, SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in < 5 year-olds remained low and followed trends in older age-groups, increasing during December 2020 and declining thereafter. CONCLUSIONS: In this cross-sectional study of COVID-19 outbreaks in nurseries, one in three staff were affected compared to one in thirty children. There was some evidence of increased transmissibility and higher cumulative incidence associated with the Alpha variant, highlighting the importance of maintaining a low level of community infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nurseries, Infant , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Infant , SARS-CoV-2
12.
BMJ Open ; 12(9): e052171, 2022 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053203

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess implementation and ease of implementation of control measures in schools as reported by staff and parents. DESIGN: A descriptive cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Staff and parents/guardians of the 132 primary schools and 19 secondary schools participating in COVID-19 surveillance in school kids (sKIDs and sKIDsPLUS Studies). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Prevalence of control measures implemented in schools in autumn 2020, parental and staff perception of ease of implementation. RESULTS: In total, 56 of 151 (37%) schools participated in this study, with 1953 parents and 986 staff members completing the questionnaire. Most common measures implemented by schools included regular hand cleaning for students (52 of 56, 93%) and staff (70 of 73, 96%), as reported by parents and staff, respectively, and was among the easiest to implement at all times for students (57%) and even more so, for staff (78%). Maintaining 2-metre distancing was less commonly reported for students (24%-51%) as it was for staff (81%-84%), but was one of the most difficult to follow at all times for students (25%) and staff (16%) alike. Some measures were more commonly reported by primary school compared to secondary school parents, including keeping students within the same small groups (28 of 41, 68% vs 8 of 15, 53%), ensuring the same teacher for classes (29 of 41, 71% vs 6 of 15, 40%). On the other hand, wearing a face covering while at school was reported by three-quarters of secondary school parents compared with only parents of 4 of 41 (10%) primary schools. Other measures such as student temperature checks (5%-13%) and advising staff work from home if otherwise healthy (7%-15%) were rarely reported. CONCLUSIONS: Variable implementation of infection control measures was reported, with some easier to implement (hand hygiene) than others (physical distancing).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , School Teachers , Attitude , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Parents , Schools
13.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 2022 Sep 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2018380

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Although acute COVID-19 has been milder in children and young people compared with adults, there is a concern that they may suffer persistent symptoms. There is a need to define the clinical phenotype, determine those most at risk, the natural course of the condition and evaluate preventive and therapeutic strategies for both mental health and physical symptoms. RECENT FINDINGS: More recent studies with control groups reported a lower prevalence of persistent symptoms in children and young people exposed to SARS-CoV-2. A systematic review and meta-analysis found that the frequency of the majority of reported persistent symptoms is similar in SARS-CoV-2 positive cases and controls. Children and young people infected with SARS-COV-2 had small but significant increases in persisting cognitive difficulties, headache and loss of smell. Factors associated with persisting, impairing symptoms include increased number of symptoms at the time of testing, female sex, older age, worse self-rated physical and mental health, and feelings of loneliness preinfection. SUMMARY: This review highlights the importance of a control group in studies following SARS-CoV-2 infection, the need for case definitions and research to understand the outcomes of long COVID in children and young people.

14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017789

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most children recover quickly after COVID-19, but some may have on-going symptoms. Follow-up studies have been limited by small sample sizes and lack of appropriate controls. METHODS: We used national testing data to identify children aged 2-16 years with a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test during 01-07 January 2021 and randomly selected1,500 PCR-positive cases and 1,500 matched PCR-negative controls. Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire about the acute illness and pre-specified neurological, dermatological, sensory, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, mental health (including emotional and behavioural well-being) and other symptoms experienced at least five times at one month after the PCR test. RESULTS: Overall, 35.0% (859/2456) completed the questionnaire, including 38.0% (472/1242) cases and 32% (387/1214) controls. of whom 68% (320/472) and 40% (154/387) were symptomatic, respectively. The most prevalent acute symptoms were cough (249 /859, 29.0%), fever (236/859, 27.5%), headache (236/859, 27.4%) and fatigue (231/859, 26.9%). One month later, 21/320 (6.7%) of symptomatic cases and 6/154 (4.2%) of symptomatic controls (p=0.24) experienced on-going symptoms. Of the 65 on-going symptoms solicited, three clusters were significantly (p<0.05) more common, albeit at low prevalence, among symptomatic cases (3-7%) than symptomatic controls (0-3: neurological, sensory and emotional and behavioural wellbeing. Mental health symptoms were reported by all groups but more frequently among symptomatic cases than symptomatic controls or asymptomatic children. CONCLUSIONS: Children with symptomatic COVID-19 had a slightly higher prevalence of on-going symptoms than symptomatic controls, and not as high as previously reported. Healthcare resources should be prioritised to support the mental health of children.

15.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 21: 100471, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1996406

ABSTRACT

Background: There remains uncertainty about the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 among school students and staff and the extent to which non-pharmaceutical-interventions reduce the risk of school settings. Methods: We conducted an open cohort study in a sample of 59 primary and 97 secondary schools in 15 English local authority areas that were implementing government guidance to schools open during the pandemic. We estimated SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence among those attending school, antibody prevalence, and antibody negative to positive conversion rates in staff and students over the school year (November 2020-July 2021). Findings: 22,585 staff and students participated. SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence among those attending school was highest during the first two rounds of testing in the autumn term, ranging from 0.7% (95% CI 0.2, 1.2) among primary staff in November 2020 to 1.6% (95% CI 0.9, 2.3) among secondary staff in December 2020. Antibody conversion rates were highest in the autumn term. Infection patterns were similar between staff and students, and between primary and secondary schools. The prevalence of nucleoprotein antibodies increased over the year and was lower among students than staff. SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in the North-West region was lower among secondary students attending school on normal school days than the regional estimate for secondary school-age children. Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in staff and students attending school varied with local community infection rates. Non-pharmaceutical interventions intended to prevent infected individuals attending school may have partially reduced the prevalence of infection among those on the school site. Funding: UK Department of Health and Social Care.

16.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(8)2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1979453

ABSTRACT

University students are a critical group for vaccination programmes against COVID-19, meningococcal disease (MenACWY) and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). We aimed to evaluate risk factors for vaccine hesitancy and views about on-campus vaccine delivery among university students. Data were obtained through a cross-sectional anonymous online questionnaire study of undergraduate students in June 2021 and analysed by univariate and multivariate tests to detect associations. Complete data were obtained from 827 participants (7.6% response-rate). Self-reporting of COVID-19 vaccine status indicated uptake by two-thirds (64%; 527/827), willing for 23% (194/827), refusal by 5% (40/827) and uncertain results for 8% (66/827). Hesitancy for COVID-19 vaccines was 5% (40/761). COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was associated with Black ethnicity (aOR, 7.01, 95% CI, 1.8-27.3) and concerns about vaccine side-effects (aOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.23-2.39). Uncertainty about vaccine status was frequently observed for MMR (11%) and MenACWY (26%) vaccines. Campus-associated COVID-19 vaccine campaigns were favoured by UK-based students (definitely, 45%; somewhat, 16%) and UK-based international students (definitely, 62%; somewhat, 12%). Limitations of this study were use of use of a cross-sectional approach, self-selection of the response cohort, slight biases in the demographics and a strict definition of vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine hesitancy and uncertainty about vaccine status are concerns for effective vaccine programmes. Extending capabilities of digital platforms for accessing vaccine information and sector-wide implementation of on-campus vaccine delivery are strategies for improving vaccine uptake among students. Future studies of vaccine hesitancy among students should aim to extend our observations to student populations in a wider range of university settings and with broader definitions of vaccine hesitancy.

18.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(8): 1669-1672, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963350

ABSTRACT

During July-December 2021, after COVID-19 restrictions were removed in England, invasive pneumococcal disease incidence in children <15 years of age was higher (1.96/100,000 children) than during the same period in 2020 (0.7/100,000 children) and in prepandemic years 2017-2019 (1.43/100,000 children). Childhood vaccine coverage should be maintained to protect the population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumococcal Infections , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , England/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Pandemics , Pneumococcal Infections/epidemiology , Pneumococcal Infections/prevention & control , Pneumococcal Vaccines
19.
BMC Pediatrics ; 22(1):1-10, 2022.
Article in English | BioMed Central | ID: covidwho-1958307

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the views of adolescents returning to secondary school during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), formerly known as Public Health England (PHE),recruited staff and students in secondary schools to provide nasal swabs, oral fluid and blood samples for SARS-CoV-2 infection and antibody testing. Students aged 11–18 years in five London schools completed a short questionnaire about their perception of the pandemic, returning to school, risk to themselves and to others and infection control measures, and participating in school testing. A questionnaire was completed by 64% (297/462) of participants. Students were generally not anxious at all (19.7%;58/294) or not really anxious (40.0%;114/295) about returning to school, although 5.4% (n = 16/295) were extremely nervous. Most students were very worried about transmitting the virus to their family (60.2%;177/294) rather than to other students (22.0%;65/296) or school staff (19.3%;57/296), or catching the infection themselves (12.5%;37/296). Students were more likely to maintain physical distancing in the presence of school staff (84.6%;247/292) and in public places (79.5%;233/293) but not when with other students (46.8%;137/293) or friends (40.8%;120/294). A greater proportion of younger students (school years 7–9;11–14-year-olds) reported not being anxious at all than older students (school years 12–13;16–18-year-olds) (47/174 [27.0%] vs 3/63 [4.8%];p = 0.001). Younger students were also less likely to adhere to physical distancing measures and wear face masks. Most students reported positive experiences with SARS-CoV-2 testing in schools, with 92.3% (262/284) agreeing to have another blood test in future visits. Younger students in secondary schools were less concerned about catching and transmitting SARS-CoV-2 and were less likely to adhere to protective measures. Greater awareness of the potential risks of SARS-CoV-2 transmission between secondary school students potentially leading to increased risk of infection in their teachers and their household members may increase adherence to infection control measures within and outside schools.

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