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1.
Vaccine ; 40(31): 4098-4104, 2022 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867876

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The relationship between the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions and COVID-19 vaccination among U.S. child care providers remains unknown. If unvaccinated child care providers are also less likely to employ nonpharmaceutical interventions, then a vaccine mandate across child care programs may have larger health and safety benefits. METHODS: To assess and quantify the relationship between the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions and COVID-19 vaccination among U.S. child care providers, we conducted a prospective cohort study of child care providers (N = 20,013) from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Child care providers were asked to complete a self-administered email survey in May-June 2020 assessing the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions (predictors) and a follow-up survey in May-June 2021 assessing COVID-19 vaccination (outcome). Nonpharmaceutical interventions were dichotomized as personal mitigation measures (e.g., masking, social distancing, handwashing) and classroom mitigation measures (e.g., temperature checks of staff/children, symptom screening for staff/children, cohorting). RESULTS: For each unendorsed personal mitigation measure during 2020, the likelihood of vaccination in 2021 decreased by 7% (Risk Ratio = 0.93 [95% CI 0.93 - 0.95]). No significant association was found between classroom mitigation measures and child care provider vaccination (Risk Ratio = 1.01 [95% CI 1.00-1.01]). CONCLUSIONS: Child care providers who used fewer personal mitigation measures were also less likely to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as an alternative form of protection. The combined nonadherence to multiple types of preventative health behaviors, that is, both nonpharmaceutical interventions and vaccination, among some child care providers may support a role for mandatory vaccination to achieve pandemic control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Child Care , Humans , Prospective Studies , Vaccination
2.
Lancet ; 399(10340): 2047-2064, 2022 05 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864651

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of acute lower respiratory infection in young children. We previously estimated that in 2015, 33·1 million episodes of RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection occurred in children aged 0-60 months, resulting in a total of 118 200 deaths worldwide. Since then, several community surveillance studies have been done to obtain a more precise estimation of RSV associated community deaths. We aimed to update RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection morbidity and mortality at global, regional, and national levels in children aged 0-60 months for 2019, with focus on overall mortality and narrower infant age groups that are targeted by RSV prophylactics in development. METHODS: In this systematic analysis, we expanded our global RSV disease burden dataset by obtaining new data from an updated search for papers published between Jan 1, 2017, and Dec 31, 2020, from MEDLINE, Embase, Global Health, CINAHL, Web of Science, LILACS, OpenGrey, CNKI, Wanfang, and ChongqingVIP. We also included unpublished data from RSV GEN collaborators. Eligible studies reported data for children aged 0-60 months with RSV as primary infection with acute lower respiratory infection in community settings, or acute lower respiratory infection necessitating hospital admission; reported data for at least 12 consecutive months, except for in-hospital case fatality ratio (CFR) or for where RSV seasonality is well-defined; and reported incidence rate, hospital admission rate, RSV positive proportion in acute lower respiratory infection hospital admission, or in-hospital CFR. Studies were excluded if case definition was not clearly defined or not consistently applied, RSV infection was not laboratory confirmed or based on serology alone, or if the report included fewer than 50 cases of acute lower respiratory infection. We applied a generalised linear mixed-effects model (GLMM) to estimate RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection incidence, hospital admission, and in-hospital mortality both globally and regionally (by country development status and by World Bank Income Classification) in 2019. We estimated country-level RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection incidence through a risk-factor based model. We developed new models (through GLMM) that incorporated the latest RSV community mortality data for estimating overall RSV mortality. This review was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021252400). FINDINGS: In addition to 317 studies included in our previous review, we identified and included 113 new eligible studies and unpublished data from 51 studies, for a total of 481 studies. We estimated that globally in 2019, there were 33·0 million RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection episodes (uncertainty range [UR] 25·4-44·6 million), 3·6 million RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection hospital admissions (2·9-4·6 million), 26 300 RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection in-hospital deaths (15 100-49 100), and 101 400 RSV-attributable overall deaths (84 500-125 200) in children aged 0-60 months. In infants aged 0-6 months, we estimated that there were 6·6 million RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection episodes (4·6-9·7 million), 1·4 million RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection hospital admissions (1·0-2·0 million), 13 300 RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection in-hospital deaths (6800-28 100), and 45 700 RSV-attributable overall deaths (38 400-55 900). 2·0% of deaths in children aged 0-60 months (UR 1·6-2·4) and 3·6% of deaths in children aged 28 days to 6 months (3·0-4·4) were attributable to RSV. More than 95% of RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection episodes and more than 97% of RSV-attributable deaths across all age bands were in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). INTERPRETATION: RSV contributes substantially to morbidity and mortality burden globally in children aged 0-60 months, especially during the first 6 months of life and in LMICs. We highlight the striking overall mortality burden of RSV disease worldwide, with one in every 50 deaths in children aged 0-60 months and one in every 28 deaths in children aged 28 days to 6 months attributable to RSV. For every RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infection in-hospital death, we estimate approximately three more deaths attributable to RSV in the community. RSV passive immunisation programmes targeting protection during the first 6 months of life could have a substantial effect on reducing RSV disease burden, although more data are needed to understand the implications of the potential age-shifts in peak RSV burden to older age when these are implemented. FUNDING: EU Innovative Medicines Initiative Respiratory Syncytial Virus Consortium in Europe (RESCEU).


Subject(s)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Respiratory Tract Infections , Child , Child, Preschool , Cost of Illness , Global Health , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology
3.
PLoS Biol ; 20(5): e3001506, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862232

ABSTRACT

The impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) mRNA vaccination on pregnancy and fertility has become a major topic of public interest. We investigated 2 of the most widely propagated claims to determine (1) whether COVID-19 mRNA vaccination of mice during early pregnancy is associated with an increased incidence of birth defects or growth abnormalities; and (2) whether COVID-19 mRNA-vaccinated human volunteers exhibit elevated levels of antibodies to the human placental protein syncytin-1. Using a mouse model, we found that intramuscular COVID-19 mRNA vaccination during early pregnancy at gestational age E7.5 did not lead to differences in fetal size by crown-rump length or weight at term, nor did we observe any gross birth defects. In contrast, injection of the TLR3 agonist and double-stranded RNA mimic polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, or poly(I:C), impacted growth in utero leading to reduced fetal size. No overt maternal illness following either vaccination or poly(I:C) exposure was observed. We also found that term fetuses from these murine pregnancies vaccinated prior to the formation of the definitive placenta exhibit high circulating levels of anti-spike and anti-receptor-binding domain (anti-RBD) antibodies to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) consistent with maternal antibody status, indicating transplacental transfer in the later stages of pregnancy after early immunization. Finally, we did not detect increased levels of circulating anti-syncytin-1 antibodies in a cohort of COVID-19 vaccinated adults compared to unvaccinated adults by ELISA. Our findings contradict popular claims associating COVID-19 mRNA vaccination with infertility and adverse neonatal outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Fetus , Gene Products, env , Humans , Mice , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Proteins , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852994

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Knowledge of the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of a third or booster vaccine dose in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection or its consequences is critical in developing recommendations for their use. We determined the relative VE of a three vs. two doses of an mRNA vaccine in preventing symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, and severe/critical disease. METHODS: Among Veterans who had received two doses of an mRNA vaccine by April 30, 2021 we identified those who received a third dose of the same vaccine between September 22 and November 24, 2021 and 1:1 matched controls who had not received their third dose by then. Using Cox proportional hazards model, we calculated adjusted hazards ratios for symptomatic infection, hospitalization, and intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death after SARS-CoV-2 positive test. RESULTS: Among 2,321,366 Veterans who received two doses of BNT162b2 or mRNA1273 vaccine by April 30, 2021, we matched 395,686 persons who received a third dose of the same vaccine between September 22 and November 24, 2021, to controls who did not receive a third dose. Adjusted hazards ratios (95% CI) were 0.15 (0.11-0.21) for symptomatic infection and 0.18 (0.13-0.26) for hospitalizations for 3 vs. 2 doses, corresponding to relative VE of 85% and 82%. Five ICU admissions or deaths were observed (4 among recipients of two doses). There was no difference in VE between BNT162b2 vs. mRNA1273 recipients. CONCLUSION: Third dose of a SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine is associated with high VE against symptomatic infection, hospitalization, and critical disease in the pre-Omicron era.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335971

ABSTRACT

Parental hesitancy poses a serious threat to the success of the COVID-19 childhood vaccination campaign. We investigate whether adults' opinions on childhood vaccination can be influenced via two survey experiments in Italy (n=3,524 participants) and the UK (n=3,066 participants). Respondents were randomly assigned to: a “risk treatment” that highlighted the potential risks of COVID-19 to a child, a “herd immunity treatment” that emphasized the community benefits of pediatric vaccination, or a control message. Participants’ probability of supporting COVID-19 childhood vaccination was then assessed on a 0-100 scale. We find that the “risk treatment” reduced the proportion of Italian parents strongly against vaccination by up to 29.6%, while increasing the proportion of neutral parents by up to 45.0%. The “herd immunity treatment”, instead, was only effective among non-parents, resulting in a lower proportion of individuals against pediatric vaccination and a higher proportion of individuals in favor (both shifted by around 20%).

6.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 41(5): e188-e193, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831447

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent global outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, both before and since the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, have led to the introduction or strengthening of vaccine mandate policies to target vaccine refusal. Globally, there is wide variation in how governments and jurisdictions implement and enforce mandatory vaccination as well as the financial and educational consequences to those who fail to comply. We explored the impact of mandate vaccination policies on Australian Immunization Specialists who work in Specialist Immunization Clinics (SIC) for approving vaccine exemptions outside of the mandated criteria. In particular, their interactions with patients and families. METHODS: A national, prospective, mixed methods, survey-based study conducted with members of the Australian Adverse Event Following Immunisation Clinical Assessment Network between February 2020 and June 2020. RESULTS: Sixteen Immunization physicians and nurse practitioner specialists working in a SIC completed the survey. All sixteen respondents had been requested by parents to provide a Medical Exemptions at least once. 88% of respondents felt pressure to provide an exemption that was not medically justified according to legislation. Seventy-five percent of SIC consultants felt that the "No Jab" policies created a moderate or extreme amount of stress to both themselves and parents. All respondents reported experiencing hostility from parents with three respondents having received threats of violence. CONCLUSIONS: Mandatory vaccination policies are associated with increased vaccination coverage but can result in widened financial and social inequity, and may harm families' relationships with health care providers. Countries considering the implementation of vaccination mandates should use the least restrictive health policies to ensure a balance between the public health and individual benefit whilst minimizing burdens on health care professionals, children and their parents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Australia/epidemiology , Child , Health Policy , Humans , Immunization , Immunization Programs , Parents , Prospective Studies , Vaccination , Vaccines/adverse effects
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831057

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant. With recent resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 cases, the role of booster doses of the vaccine needs to be highlighted. METHODS: Using a retrospective cohort study design emulating a target trial, we determined the relative effectiveness of a homologous booster dose of a SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine compared with primary series alone in preventing infection, hospitalization, and intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and death in the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system in the US. Among infection-free survivors who received two doses of an mRNA vaccine prior to April 30, 2021, we identified those who received a booster between September 22 and December 25, 2021 and 1:1 matched individuals who did not receive a booster. RESULTS: Among 2,384,272 previously uninfected persons with two doses of an mRNA vaccine by April 30, 2021, we identified 462,950 booster recipients between September 22 and December 25, 2021 who were matched 1:1 with non-booster recipients. RVE (95% CI) was 19% (17-22%) for confirmed infection, 52% (46-57%) for hospitalization, and 83% (65-92%) for ICU admission or death. Recipients of the mRNA-1273 vaccine had a lower cumulative incidence of infections and hospitalizations compared with BNT-162b2 vaccine (log-rank p-value <0.001 for both comparisons). CONCLUSION: While the RVE of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA booster vaccine dose in preventing infection against the Omicron variant is low, the RVE is substantial in preventing hospitalization and high in preventing the most severe/critical disease.

8.
EClinicalMedicine ; 26: 100495, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796949

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect the U.S., which leads globally in total cases and deaths. As COVID-19 vaccines are under development, public health officials and policymakers need to create strategic vaccine-acceptance messaging to effectively control the pandemic and prevent thousands of additional deaths. METHODS: Using an online platform, we surveyed the U.S. adult population in May 2020 to understand risk perceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic, acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine, and trust in sources of information. These factors were compared across basic demographics. FINDINGS: Of the 672 participants surveyed, 450 (67%) said they would accept a COVID-19 vaccine if it is recommended for them. Males (72%) compared to females, older adults (≥55 years; 78%) compared to younger adults, Asians (81%) compared to other racial and ethnic groups, and college and/or graduate degree holders (75%) compared to people with less than a college degree were more likely to accept the vaccine. When comparing reported influenza vaccine uptake to reported acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine: 1) participants who did not complete high school had a very low influenza vaccine uptake (10%), while 60% of the same group said they would accept the COVID-19 vaccine; 2) unemployed participants reported lower influenza uptake and lower COVID-19 vaccine acceptance when compared to those employed or retired; and, 3) Black Americans reported lower influenza vaccine uptake and lower COVID-19 vaccine acceptance than all other racial groups reported in our study. Lastly, we identified geographic differences with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regions 2 (New York) and 5 (Chicago) reporting less than 50 percent COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. INTERPRETATION: Although our study found a 67% acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine, there were noticeable demographic and geographical disparities in vaccine acceptance. Before a COVID-19 vaccine is introduced to the U.S., public health officials and policymakers must prioritize effective COVID-19 vaccine-acceptance messaging for all Americans, especially those who are most vulnerable.

9.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331679

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) continue to reshape the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, why some VOCs, like Omicron, become globally dominant while the spread of others is limited is not fully understood. To address this question, we investigated the VOC Mu, which was first identified in Colombia in late 2020. Our study demonstrates that, although Mu is less sensitive to neutralization compared to variants that preceded it, it did not spread significantly outside of South and Central America. Additionally, we find evidence that the response to Mu was impeded by reporting delays and gaps in the global genomic surveillance system. Our findings suggest that immune evasion alone was not sufficient to outcompete highly transmissible variants that were circulating concurrently with Mu. Insights into the complex relationship between genomic and epidemiological characteristics of previous variants should inform our response to variants that are likely to emerge in the future.

11.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264782, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759948

ABSTRACT

What types of public health messages are effective at changing people's beliefs and intentions to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19? We conducted two randomized experiments in summer 2020 that assigned respondents to read a public health message and then measured their beliefs and behavioral intentions across a wide variety of outcomes. Using both a convenience sample and a pre-registered replication with a nationally representative sample of Americans, we find that a message that reframes not social distancing as recklessness rather than bravery and a message that highlights the need for everyone to take action to protect one another are the most effective at increasing beliefs and intentions related to social distancing. These results provide an evidentiary basis for building effective public health campaigns to increase social distancing during flu pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Education/methods , Persuasive Communication , Physical Distancing , Adult , Altruism , Female , Health Promotion/methods , Humans , Male , Risk Reduction Behavior , Self Efficacy , Social Values
13.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 446, 2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731526

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Open online forums like Reddit provide an opportunity to quantitatively examine COVID-19 vaccine perceptions early in the vaccine timeline. We examine COVID-19 misinformation on Reddit following vaccine scientific announcements, in the initial phases of the vaccine timeline. METHODS: We collected all posts on Reddit (reddit.com) from January 1 2020 - December 14 2020 (n=266,840) that contained both COVID-19 and vaccine-related keywords. We used topic modeling to understand changes in word prevalence within topics after the release of vaccine trial data. Social network analysis was also conducted to determine the relationship between Reddit communities (subreddits) that shared COVID-19 vaccine posts, and the movement of posts between subreddits. RESULTS: There was an association between a Pfizer press release reporting 90% efficacy and increased discussion on vaccine misinformation. We observed an association between Johnson and Johnson temporarily halting its vaccine trials and reduced misinformation. We found that information skeptical of vaccination was first posted in a subreddit (r/Coronavirus) which favored accurate information and then reposted in subreddits associated with antivaccine beliefs and conspiracy theories (e.g. conspiracy, NoNewNormal). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings can inform the development of interventions where individuals determine the accuracy of vaccine information, and communications campaigns to improve COVID-19 vaccine perceptions, early in the vaccine timeline. Such efforts can increase individual- and population-level awareness of accurate and scientifically sound information regarding vaccines and thereby improve attitudes about vaccines, especially in the early phases of vaccine roll-out. Further research is needed to understand how social media can contribute to COVID-19 vaccination services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329463

ABSTRACT

Importance: There is no published national research reporting child care professionals' physical health, depression, or stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given their central role in supporting children's development, child care professionals' overall physical and mental health is important. Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of chronic diseases, depression, and stress levels during the COVID-19 pandemic among U.S. child care professionals. Design: In this large-scale national survey, data were collected through an online survey from May 22, 2020 to June 8, 2020. We analyzed the association of sociodemographic characteristics with four physical health conditions (asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity), depression, and stress weighted to national representativeness. Sociodemographic characteristics included race, ethnicity, age, gender, medical insurance status, and child care type. Setting: Center- and home-based child care. Participants: Child care professionals (n = 81,682) from all U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Results: Mean age was 42.1 years (standard deviation = 14.1);96.0% (n = 78,725) were female, 2.5% (n = 2,033) were male, and 0.3% (n = 225) were non-binary. For physical health conditions, 14.3% (n = 11,717) reported moderate to severe asthma, 6.5% (n = 5,317) diabetes, 4.9% (n = 3,971) heart disease, and 19.8% (n = 16,207) being obese. Regarding mental health, 45.7% (n = 37,376) screened positive for depression and 66.5% (n = 54,381) reported moderate to high stress levels. Race, ethnicity, and gender disparities were evidenced for physical health conditions of child care professionals, but not for mental health during the pandemic. Conclusions and Relevance: Our findings highlight that child care professionals' depression rates during the pandemic were much higher than before the pandemic, and depression, stress and asthma rates were higher than U.S. adult depression rates during the pandemic. Given the essential work child care professionals provide during the pandemic, policy makers and public health officials should consider what can be done to support the physical and mental health of child care professionals.

16.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(9)2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713295

ABSTRACT

An increased incidence of chilblains has been observed during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and attributed to viral infection. Direct evidence of this relationship has been limited, however, as most cases do not have molecular evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection with PCR or antibodies. We enrolled a cohort of 23 patients who were diagnosed and managed as having SARS-CoV-2-associated skin eruptions (including 21 pandemic chilblains [PC]) during the first wave of the pandemic in Connecticut. Antibody responses were determined through endpoint titration enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and serum epitope repertoire analysis. T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 were assessed by T cell receptor sequencing and in vitro SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific peptide stimulation assays. Immunohistochemical and PCR studies of PC biopsies and tissue microarrays for evidence of SARS-CoV-2 were performed. Among patients diagnosed and managed as "covid toes" during the pandemic, we find a percentage of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (9.5%) that approximates background seroprevalence (8.5%) at the time. Immunohistochemistry studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 staining in PC biopsies may not be from SARS-CoV-2. Our results do not support SARS-CoV-2 as the causative agent of pandemic chilblains; however, our study does not exclude the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 seronegative abortive infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Chilblains/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chilblains/epidemiology , Chilblains/virology , Connecticut/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
18.
Lancet Reg Health Am ; 6: 100161, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693150
19.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307083

ABSTRACT

What types of public health messages are effective at changing people’s beliefs and intentions to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19? We conducted two randomized experiments that assigned respondents to read a public health message and then measured their beliefs and behavioral intentions across a wide variety of outcomes. Using both a convenience sample and a nationally representative sample of Americans, we find that a message that reframes bravery as recklessness and a message that highlights the need for everyone to take action to protect others are the most effective at increasing beliefs and intentions related to social distancing. These results provide an evidentiary basis for building effective public health campaigns to increase social distancing during flu pandemics.

20.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307082

ABSTRACT

The global spread of COVID-19 has created an urgent need for a safe and effective vaccine. However, even if a safe and medically effective vaccine is developed, hesitancy by citizens to receive it would undercut its effectiveness as a tool for limiting the spread of COVID-19. 1,2,3 A potential driver of hesitancy in the United States is the politicization of a potential vaccine, including when one might be approved with respect to the presidential election and which public figures are endorsing its safety and efficacy. 4,5 Using a pair of randomized survey experiments, we show that announcing approval of a COVID-19 vaccine one week before the election compared to one week after considerably reduces both beliefs about its safety and efficacy and willingness to receive it. However, endorsement by Dr. Anthony Fauci increases reported beliefs about safety and willingness to receive a vaccine among all partisan subgroups. Further, an endorsement by Dr. Fauci increased uptake and confidence in safety even if a vaccine receives pre-election approval. The results here suggest that perceptions of political influence in COVID-19 vaccine approval could significantly undermine the viability of a vaccine as a strategy to end the pandemic.

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