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JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(9): e31409, 2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344227


BACKGROUND: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization emphasized vaccination against COVID-19 because physical distancing proved inadequate to mitigate death, illness, and massive economic loss. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate Korean citizens' perceptions of vaccines by examining their views on COVID-19 vaccines, their positive and negative perceptions of each vaccine, and ways to enhance policies to increase vaccine acceptance. METHODS: This cross-sectional study analyzed posts on NAVER and Instagram to examine Korean citizens' perception of COVID-19 vaccines. The keywords searched were "vaccine," "AstraZeneca," and "Pfizer." In total 8100 posts in NAVER and 5291 posts in Instagram were sampled through web crawling. Morphology analysis was performed, overlapping or meaningless words were removed, sentiment analysis was implemented, and 3 public health professionals reviewed the results. RESULTS: The findings revealed a negative perception of COVID-19 vaccines; of the words crawled, the proportion of negative words for AstraZeneca was 71.0% (476/670) and for Pfizer was 56.3% (498/885). Among words crawled with "vaccine," "good" ranked first, with a frequency of 13.43% (312/2323). Meanwhile, "side effect" ranked highest, with a frequency of 29.2% (163/559) for "AstraZeneca," but 0.6% (4/673) for "Pfizer." With "vaccine," positive words were more frequently used, whereas with "AstraZeneca" and "Pfizer" negative words were prevalent. CONCLUSIONS: There is a negative perception of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in Korea, with 1 in 4 people refusing vaccination. To address this, accurate information needs to be shared about vaccines including AstraZeneca, and the experiences of those vaccinated. Furthermore, government communication about risk management is required to increase the AstraZeneca vaccination rate for herd immunity before the vaccine expires.

COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Internet/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data
Biomolecules ; 10(8)2020 08 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-823584


Neurodegenerative diseases are the second most common cause of death and characterized by progressive impairments in movement or mental functioning in the central or peripheral nervous system. The prevention of neurodegenerative disorders has become an emerging public health challenge for our society. Melatonin, a pineal hormone, has various physiological functions in the brain, including regulating circadian rhythms, clearing free radicals, inhibiting biomolecular oxidation, and suppressing neuroinflammation. Cumulative evidence indicates that melatonin has a wide range of neuroprotective roles by regulating pathophysiological mechanisms and signaling pathways. Moreover, melatonin levels are decreased in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the regulation, molecular mechanisms and biological functions of melatonin in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, vascular dementia and multiple sclerosis. We also discuss the clinical application of melatonin in neurodegenerative disorders. This information will lead to a better understanding of the regulation of melatonin in the brain and provide therapeutic options for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases.

Circadian Rhythm , Melatonin/physiology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/metabolism , Oxidative Stress , Alzheimer Disease/metabolism , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/metabolism , Animals , Circadian Rhythm/drug effects , Dementia, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Huntington Disease/metabolism , Melatonin/therapeutic use , Multiple Sclerosis/metabolism , Neurodegenerative Diseases/drug therapy , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Parkinson Disease/metabolism
Front. Phys. ; (8)20200814.
Article in English | ELSEVIER | ID: covidwho-782039


We consider the pandemic spread of COVID-19 in selected countries after the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Wuhan City, China. We estimated the infection rate and the initial individuals infected with COVID-19 by using officially reported data from the early stages of the epidemic for a model of susceptible (S), infectible (I), quarantined (Q), and officially confirmed recovered (R k) populations (the so-called SIQR kmodel). In the officially reported data, we know the number of quarantined cases and the officially reported number of recovered cases. We cannot know about recovered cases from asymptomatic patients. In the SIQR kmodel, we can estimate the parameters and the initial infections (confirmed cases + asymptomatic cases) from fitted values. We obtained an infection rate in the range β = 0.233 ~ 0.462, a basic reproduction number of R o= 1.8 ~ 3.5, and the initial number of infected individuals, I (0) = 10 ~ 8409, for selected countries. By using fitting parameters, we estimated that the maximum time span of the infection was around 50 days in Germany when the government invoked the quarantine policy. The disease is expected to subside about 6 months after the first patients are found.