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1.
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
2.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(12)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550947

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 has altered health sector capacity in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Cost data to inform evidence-based priority setting are urgently needed. Consequently, in this paper, we calculate the full economic health sector costs of COVID-19 clinical management in 79 LMICs under different epidemiological scenarios. METHODS: We used country-specific epidemiological projections from a dynamic transmission model to determine number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths over 1 year under four mitigation scenarios. We defined the health sector response for three base LMICs through guidelines and expert opinion. We calculated costs through local resource use and price data and extrapolated costs across 79 LMICs. Lastly, we compared cost estimates against gross domestic product (GDP) and total annual health expenditure in 76 LMICs. RESULTS: COVID-19 clinical management costs vary greatly by country, ranging between <0.1%-12% of GDP and 0.4%-223% of total annual health expenditure (excluding out-of-pocket payments). Without mitigation policies, COVID-19 clinical management costs per capita range from US$43.39 to US$75.57; in 22 of 76 LMICs, these costs would surpass total annual health expenditure. In a scenario of stringent social distancing, costs per capita fall to US$1.10-US$1.32. CONCLUSIONS: We present the first dataset of COVID-19 clinical management costs across LMICs. These costs can be used to inform decision-making on priority setting. Our results show that COVID-19 clinical management costs in LMICs are substantial, even in scenarios of moderate social distancing. Low-income countries are particularly vulnerable and some will struggle to cope with almost any epidemiological scenario. The choices facing LMICs are likely to remain stark and emergency financial support will be needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Developing Countries , Gross Domestic Product , Humans , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
3.
PLoS Med ; 18(10): e1003815, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450724

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multiple Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines appear to be safe and efficacious, but only high-income countries have the resources to procure sufficient vaccine doses for most of their eligible populations. The World Health Organization has published guidelines for vaccine prioritisation, but most vaccine impact projections have focused on high-income countries, and few incorporate economic considerations. To address this evidence gap, we projected the health and economic impact of different vaccination scenarios in Sindh Province, Pakistan (population: 48 million). METHODS AND FINDINGS: We fitted a compartmental transmission model to COVID-19 cases and deaths in Sindh from 30 April to 15 September 2020. We then projected cases, deaths, and hospitalisation outcomes over 10 years under different vaccine scenarios. Finally, we combined these projections with a detailed economic model to estimate incremental costs (from healthcare and partial societal perspectives), disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for each scenario. We project that 1 year of vaccine distribution, at delivery rates consistent with COVAX projections, using an infection-blocking vaccine at $3/dose with 70% efficacy and 2.5-year duration of protection is likely to avert around 0.9 (95% credible interval (CrI): 0.9, 1.0) million cases, 10.1 (95% CrI: 10.1, 10.3) thousand deaths, and 70.1 (95% CrI: 69.9, 70.6) thousand DALYs, with an ICER of $27.9 per DALY averted from the health system perspective. Under a broad range of alternative scenarios, we find that initially prioritising the older (65+) population generally prevents more deaths. However, unprioritised distribution has almost the same cost-effectiveness when considering all outcomes, and both prioritised and unprioritised programmes can be cost-effective for low per-dose costs. High vaccine prices ($10/dose), however, may not be cost-effective, depending on the specifics of vaccine performance, distribution programme, and future pandemic trends. The principal drivers of the health outcomes are the fitted values for the overall transmission scaling parameter and disease natural history parameters from other studies, particularly age-specific probabilities of infection and symptomatic disease, as well as social contact rates. Other parameters are investigated in sensitivity analyses. This study is limited by model approximations, available data, and future uncertainty. Because the model is a single-population compartmental model, detailed impacts of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as household isolation cannot be practically represented or evaluated in combination with vaccine programmes. Similarly, the model cannot consider prioritising groups like healthcare or other essential workers. The model is only fitted to the reported case and death data, which are incomplete and not disaggregated by, e.g., age. Finally, because the future impact and implementation cost of NPIs are uncertain, how these would interact with vaccination remains an open question. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 vaccination can have a considerable health impact and is likely to be cost-effective if more optimistic vaccine scenarios apply. Preventing severe disease is an important contributor to this impact. However, the advantage of prioritising older, high-risk populations is smaller in generally younger populations. This reduction is especially true in populations with more past transmission, and if the vaccine is likely to further impede transmission rather than just disease. Those conditions are typical of many low- and middle-income countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/economics , COVID-19/economics , Cost-Benefit Analysis/methods , Health Impact Assessment/economics , Models, Economic , Vaccination/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cost-Benefit Analysis/trends , Health Impact Assessment/methods , Health Impact Assessment/trends , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , Quality-Adjusted Life Years , Vaccination/trends
4.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 566, 2021 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262505

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Predicting bed occupancy for hospitalised patients with COVID-19 requires understanding of length of stay (LoS) in particular bed types. LoS can vary depending on the patient's "bed pathway" - the sequence of transfers of individual patients between bed types during a hospital stay. In this study, we characterise these pathways, and their impact on predicted hospital bed occupancy. METHODS: We obtained data from University College Hospital (UCH) and the ISARIC4C COVID-19 Clinical Information Network (CO-CIN) on hospitalised patients with COVID-19 who required care in general ward or critical care (CC) beds to determine possible bed pathways and LoS. We developed a discrete-time model to examine the implications of using either bed pathways or only average LoS by bed type to forecast bed occupancy. We compared model-predicted bed occupancy to publicly available bed occupancy data on COVID-19 in England between March and August 2020. RESULTS: In both the UCH and CO-CIN datasets, 82% of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 only received care in general ward beds. We identified four other bed pathways, present in both datasets: "Ward, CC, Ward", "Ward, CC", "CC" and "CC, Ward". Mean LoS varied by bed type, pathway, and dataset, between 1.78 and 13.53 days. For UCH, we found that using bed pathways improved the accuracy of bed occupancy predictions, while only using an average LoS for each bed type underestimated true bed occupancy. However, using the CO-CIN LoS dataset we were not able to replicate past data on bed occupancy in England, suggesting regional LoS heterogeneities. CONCLUSIONS: We identified five bed pathways, with substantial variation in LoS by bed type, pathway, and geography. This might be caused by local differences in patient characteristics, clinical care strategies, or resource availability, and suggests that national LoS averages may not be appropriate for local forecasts of bed occupancy for COVID-19. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study ISRCTN66726260 was retrospectively registered on 21/04/2020 and designated an Urgent Public Health Research Study by NIHR.


Subject(s)
Bed Occupancy , COVID-19 , England , Humans , Length of Stay , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Lancet Glob Health ; 9(3): e251, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1149603
6.
BMC Med ; 18(1): 270, 2020 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-742409

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an unprecedented strain on health systems, with rapidly increasing demand for healthcare in hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs) worldwide. As the pandemic escalates, determining the resulting needs for healthcare resources (beds, staff, equipment) has become a key priority for many countries. Projecting future demand requires estimates of how long patients with COVID-19 need different levels of hospital care. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of early evidence on length of stay (LoS) of patients with COVID-19 in hospital and in ICU. We subsequently developed a method to generate LoS distributions which combines summary statistics reported in multiple studies, accounting for differences in sample sizes. Applying this approach, we provide distributions for total hospital and ICU LoS from studies in China and elsewhere, for use by the community. RESULTS: We identified 52 studies, the majority from China (46/52). Median hospital LoS ranged from 4 to 53 days within China, and 4 to 21 days outside of China, across 45 studies. ICU LoS was reported by eight studies-four each within and outside China-with median values ranging from 6 to 12 and 4 to 19 days, respectively. Our summary distributions have a median hospital LoS of 14 (IQR 10-19) days for China, compared with 5 (IQR 3-9) days outside of China. For ICU, the summary distributions are more similar (median (IQR) of 8 (5-13) days for China and 7 (4-11) days outside of China). There was a visible difference by discharge status, with patients who were discharged alive having longer LoS than those who died during their admission, but no trend associated with study date. CONCLUSION: Patients with COVID-19 in China appeared to remain in hospital for longer than elsewhere. This may be explained by differences in criteria for admission and discharge between countries, and different timing within the pandemic. In the absence of local data, the combined summary LoS distributions provided here can be used to model bed demands for contingency planning and then updated, with the novel method presented here, as more studies with aggregated statistics emerge outside China.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Health Care Rationing , Length of Stay , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Health Care Rationing/methods , Health Care Rationing/trends , Hospital Bed Capacity , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Lancet Glob Health ; 8(10): e1264-e1272, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-654153

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: National immunisation programmes globally are at risk of suspension due to the severe health system constraints and physical distancing measures in place to mitigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to compare the health benefits of sustaining routine childhood immunisation in Africa with the risk of acquiring severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection through visiting routine vaccination service delivery points. METHODS: We considered a high-impact scenario and a low-impact scenario to approximate the child deaths that could be caused by immunisation coverage reductions during COVID-19 outbreaks. In the high-impact scenario, we used previously reported country-specific child mortality impact estimates of childhood immunisation for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, rotavirus, measles, meningitis A, rubella, and yellow fever to approximate the future deaths averted before 5 years of age by routine childhood vaccination during a 6-month COVID-19 risk period without catch-up campaigns. In the low-impact scenario, we approximated the health benefits of sustaining routine childhood immunisation on only the child deaths averted from measles outbreaks during the COVID-19 risk period. We assumed that contact-reducing interventions flattened the outbreak curve during the COVID-19 risk period, that 60% of the population will have been infected by the end of that period, that children can be infected by either vaccinators or during transport, and that upon child infection the whole household will be infected. Country-specific household age structure estimates and age-dependent infection-fatality rates were applied to calculate the number of deaths attributable to the vaccination clinic visits. We present benefit-risk ratios for routine childhood immunisation, with 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) from a probabilistic sensitivity analysis. FINDINGS: In the high-impact scenario, for every one excess COVID-19 death attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infections acquired during routine vaccination clinic visits, 84 (95% UI 14-267) deaths in children could be prevented by sustaining routine childhood immunisation in Africa. The benefit-risk ratio for the vaccinated children is 85 000 (4900-546 000), for their siblings (<20 years) is 75 000 (4400-483 000), for their parents or adult carers (aged 20-60 years) is 769 (148-2700), and for older adults (>60 years) is 96 (14-307). In the low-impact scenario that approximates the health benefits to only the child deaths averted from measles outbreaks, the benefit-risk ratio to the households of vaccinated children is 3 (0-10); if the risk to only the vaccinated children is considered, the benefit-risk ratio is 3000 (182-21 000). INTERPRETATION: The deaths prevented by sustaining routine childhood immunisation in Africa outweigh the excess risk of COVID-19 deaths associated with vaccination clinic visits, especially for the vaccinated children. Routine childhood immunisation should be sustained in Africa as much as possible, while considering other factors such as logistical constraints, staff shortages, and reallocation of resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. FUNDING: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/prevention & control , Vaccines/administration & dosage , Africa/epidemiology , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19 , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross Infection/mortality , Humans , Immunization Programs , Immunization Schedule , Infant , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Risk Assessment , Vaccine-Preventable Diseases/mortality
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